Plaintiffs will present their cases; defendants will share their excuses; and judge will adjudicate upon the matter in question.
ActionAid Bangladesh has been advocating for tax justice since 2014. Over the last five years, evidence from numerous research reports produced internationally and nationally shows the revenue countries lose from tax treaties, weak legislation that allows illicit financial flows and misuse of tax incentives. In Bangladesh, like most developing countries, taxation is a critical internal source of revenue. Value Added Tax (VAT) is the key contributor and in recent times the country earned more than 35 percent from VAT, even though only a small fraction of companies registered for VAT actually pays it. In the attempt to reduce the budget deficit, VAT is always seen as major way-out. A high consumption tax, in reality, is a burden that is borne equally by all with little or no foreseeable results. On the other hand, corporate tax remains an untapped resource. A 2015 ActionAid Bangladesh study shows that the overall estimated revenue foregone for the entire economy in FY 2012-2013 was BDT 251,188 million or 23% of the total tax revenue collected by the NBR due to various tax incentives. Evidence suggests that large corporations can avoid paying taxes through treaties while the burden is borne by the medium and small companies and salaried workers creating inequality within the state. The tax campaign aims to challenge these issues and demand progressive tax policies that will reduce the burden on the poor. This year, a mock tax tribunal will be organized as a part of this campaign.
1. Mobilize people around the issues of VAT burden on poor, corporate tax avoidance, responsible corporate tax behavior.
2. Initiate a dialogue among stakeholders for progressive tax policies.