Phub Dem

The trend among Bhutanese tax payers is leaving it to the eleventh hour. 

However, this year, there were more than a hundred early birds who filed their personal income tax and 41 businesses paid their business income tax on the first day of the New Year, January 1, 2020.

The Department of Revenue and Custom (DRC) received 143 Personal Income Tax (PIT) and 41 Business Income Tax from its eight regions across the country yesterday.

Last year on the same date, DRC recorded 120 PIT and 18 BIT.

Yesterday, at the DRC office in Thimphu, it looks like a normal day with not many people crowding the tax division. Those who came to file took less than an hour to file and leave.

Bhutanese citizens and residents earning a gross income exceeding Nu 200,000 per annum from one or more of the six sources is liable to pay PIT. The six sources of income are salary income, rental income, dividend income, interest Income, income from sale of cash crops, and income from other sources.

According to an official with DRC, people usually fill tax at the last minute. Paying tax early has advantages. The DRC office would be available to provide personal attention and could refund on time if taxpayers did not wait until the last minute.

However, it is not easy to file the returns in the first few days of the New Year when there is no rush at the DRC office. Not being able to avail tax deducted at source (TDS) certificates, earning details and documents from financial institutions are attributed for not being able to file in early.

“I wanted to be the first tax filer this year after I got warned by tax officials last year,” said Ugyen, a corporate employee. “I went to the NPPF website to get my 2019 loan repayment details on December 30. They had until 2018,” he said. “DRC should coordinate with other organization to help taxpayers.”

Taxpayers are requested to visit Regional Revenue and Customs Office (RRCO) offices during office hours to avail themselves of the services. For those who choose to file tax online, individuals are requested to call the taxpayer information centre at toll-free number 3999 for clarification and support.

Last year, a total of 61,130 individuals filed PIT. With an increase in salaries, the taxpayers are likely to increase this year, according to DRC officials.

The submission of tax returns for PIT, BIT and CIT started yesterday. For PIT, the filing period is from January 1 to February end. For CIT and BIT, the filing period is until March 31.

Taxpayers holding business licenses, including temporary licenses irrespective of the operational status, must report and file tax returns to concerned RRCO before March 31.

Filing after the due date will result in a penalty of Nu100 per day and 24 percent penal interest on tax payable. Tax filing after three months after the due date will result in a non-filing penalty as per Section 31, Chapter 5, General Provisions of the Income Tax Act 2001.