NBR scraps VAT on book sales

The National Board of Revenue has withdrawn the value added tax on the sales of all types of books to encourage book reading among the country’s citizens through reducing the cost of books.

The NBR’s VAT wing issued a special order on Tuesday in which it offered the exemption on the sales of books considering the importance of books in enhancing the quality of education, language and literature.

Officials of the revenue board said that there had been a 15 per cent VAT on the sales of books, except for textbooks, prior to the exemption.

Booksellers will now no longer be required to charge VAT from buyers of books, they said.

Although the Gazette notice was published on Tuesday, the NBR issued the order on February 12 on the occasion of the month-long Ekushey book fair, they added.

Earlier, only textbooks, newspapers, magazines, government gazettes and other publications were exempted from payment of VAT as the services were related to academia and culture.

A senior NBR official said that charging of 15 per cent VAT on sales of other types of books had only been practiced on paper as the sellers never charged the VAT from buyers while the VAT officials also did not ask books stores to pay the tax.

The revenue board has now felt the need to withdraw the VAT considering the importance of books in education, language and literature, he said. (Source: New Age)

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