With only 15 days left to file returns, more than half the taxpayers are yet to do so

PIT: Regional revenue and customs officials in Thimphu are expecting a last minute rush, more than seen in the past, for filing personal income tax (PIT) this year.

With less than 15 days to go for the PIT deadline, not even half of some 27,000 registered taxpayers have filed in their returns this year.

Despite the launch of the revenue and administration management information system, a web-based online application system, only about 8,000 taxpayers have filed their PIT.  About 1,000 have drafts of their filing online.

Regional manager Nidup Gyeltshen said, despite reminding taxpayers to file in PIT early, they tend to wait until the last minute.

“We’ve just 15 days left, and more than half of the taxpayers haven’t filed in yet,” he said. “This means a rush at the last hour.”

To provide better service, RRCO has hired about 13 interns this year.  The interns were given a month long rigorous in-house training.  Last year, taxpayers did not have to wait in queue, because there were about 20 interns assisting the PIT section.

The regional manager explained that it was the duty of individual taxpayer to fill up the PIT forms and online profile details correctly, but PIT officials usually ended up doing it on the taxpayers’ behalf.

“This consumes a lot of time,” assistant collector, Kesang Namgyel, said. “We’re here just to collect revenue, but we often have to do everything for the taxpayer.”

Although desk assessment of PIT starts from March 1, officials carry out the assessment during the filing, so that individuals don’t have errors while filing tax returns.

Kesang Namgyel also said that, with the increase in civil servants’ salary last year, more new PIT registration is expected.

“The number of taxpayer increases by six to seven percent annually. This year we expect more, since those in the lowest rung of the civil service are also now eligible for PIT,” he said.

Regional revenue and customs officials encourage taxpayers to file their PIT at the earliest, to avoid hassles and waiting at the last hour.

Meanwhile, RRCO will begin creating awareness on early filing of PIT soon after the deadline for this year’s PIT ends.

By Nirmala Pokhrel