Personal income taxes are unevenly distributed among the registered taxpayers. In reality a major portion of taxes is paid by small group of people with higher marginal rates. A high number of registered taxpayers always remain in lower income groups, for whom it is easy to receive tax incentives or tax exemptions and who share only a little burden of taxes, often at lower marginal rates. These taxpayers are often small and medium traders and manufactures. There are also a lot of untaxed investments because of tax amnesty.15
Personal Income Tax Bangladesh 200216
Tax Exemption Limit
Annual Income (Taka)
Statutory Tax Rates
Minimum Altern. Tax Payable
On first 75.000
On next 150.000
On next 150.000
On next 250.000
On Balance Income
As one can see the maximum personal taxation is 25%.
On the company level a business pays 15% tax of total income or 100,000 taka whichever is less. Small and cottage industries receive a tax rebate of 5% to 10% depending on the income and production volume. There is no tax obligation for a firm on the first earned 60,000 taka, 10% on the next 40,000 taka, 15% on the next 50,000 taka, and 20% on the next 150,000 taka of the total income. All in all there is 25% tax on the balance of total income. Corporate tax rates for industrial companies whose shares are publicly traded are 35% and the rate of those whose shares are not publicly traded is 40%. Banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, and local authorities pay 45% income taxes.17
Treatment of Foreign Nationals:
The number of foreign nationals seeking work permits in the Board of Investment increased manifold recently after the caretaker government implemented measures against overstay of foreigners in Bangladesh. Although there are regulations many foreigners enter the country under tourist visas and leave the country without taxes after working in the computer industries and taking the advantage of inadequate measures to check the malpractices by the previous governments. Therefore the government implemented expensive work permits fees or work permit renewal fees. The government fee for issuing a work permit, as well as its renewal for one year is 5.000 taka.
Foreigners in Bangladesh usually work in high technology-oriented industries. Foreign nationals coming from India, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, and China stay in Bangladesh for a long period of time for working purposes. The government has no specific statistics on how many foreign nationals work in the country without having a valid work permit or staying there illegally. Analysts believe that there are about 0.1 million to over 0.2 million foreigners staying in the country illegally. A regulation states that a foreign national staying in Bangladesh illegally for more than 36 days will have to pay a penalty of 5.000 taka. The new guidelines also dictate that any foreign national who wants to stay here for more than 30 days has to register with the Special Branch of police. A foreigner has to pay a fine of 500 taka per day if he or she overstays here for up to 15 days, 1.000 taka a day for 16 to 26 days, and 2.000 taka for 26 to 37 days. The new guidelines have relaxed the visa requirements for the Bangladeshi Diaspora and their Bangladeshi or foreigner wives.
Earlier, on the eve of SAARC summit in Dhaka, the immediate past 4-party alliance government ordered a crackdown on the foreigners staying in Bangladesh illegally. Some 'suspicious' foreign nationals were identified and asked to leave the country. The suspected people included some Pakistani, Libyan and Indian nationals.In fact, the decision to deport the foreigners came two days after the deadly bomb attack in the Indian capital of New Delhi and the government has started revising security arrangements for the two-day summit, which was attended by the heads of states of seven south Asia countries.
Meanwhile, some local businessmen alleged that some 'illegal' foreigners were doing indenting and other businesses in the country, exploiting its liberal import regime. They are doing it without registration, certification or any other legal ways and causing a huge loss to the national budget. Such foreigners do not pay any taxes in connection with the 'businesses'.18
Grameen Bank – the bank for the poor:
One of the most worth to mention successes of Bangladesh is its famous Grameen Bank, which reversed the conventional banking practice by removing classical banking boundaries like the need for collateral. The bank's system is based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity. The Grameen Bank provides credits to poorest of the poor in the rural areas of the country without any collateral. Now poor people can receive a credit, which would not be possible in a regular bank system, because they are poor and hence not bankable. The founder of that famous bank is Professor Muhammad Yunus who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
As of January, 2007, it has 6.95 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women (because women are the better money keeper and manager, according to the philosophy of the bank). With 2343 branches, GB provides services in 75,359 villages, covering more than 90 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh.
Now, poor people can receive small short-term loans (mostly from two weeks to almost a year) with a relatively high interest rate, which however is not that high percept by the borrowers because of the small borrowed amount of money. The payback rate is over 98%.19
1 „Der Brock Haus", Verlag F.A. Brockhaus GmbH, January 2000, ISBN 3-7653-3641-6
3 The World Bank Economic Review, VOL. 11, NO. 1
5 The World Bank Economic Review, VOL. 11, NO. 1
15 Tapan K. Sarker, Article: "Incidence of Income Taxation in Bangladesh"
16 Tapan K. Sarker, Article: "Incidence of Income Taxation in Bangladesh"
18 The Financial Express, February 25, 2007, Article: 'Illegal' expatriates' role in businesses questioned by Shahiduzzaman Khan; www.financialexpress-bd.com