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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka personal income tax now very low: Treasury Secretary

Sri Lanka personal income tax now very low: Treasury Secretary

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Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics

Jan 04, 2012 (LBO) - Sri Lanka's personal income tax rates are now very low and eligible persons should start paying taxes voluntarily, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said.

He said with Sri Lanka is becoming a service economy made up of self-employed and professionals working in legal, healthcare, education or information technology and income tax payments had to be voluntary.

The rates were now low was low enough to ensure compliance, he said.

Income up to 50,000 rupees a month was completely exempt and those earning up to 100,000 has to pay only 2.0 percent, he said.

"For a person earning 100,000 a month that is peanuts," Jayasundera said. "That message must go."

Jayasundera said doctors, lawyers and other professional were now beginning to pay income taxes voluntarily.

Under Sri Lanka's pay as you earn scheme (PAYE) a person with 100,000 rupee of income has to pay 2333 rupees a month. A person earning 150,000 rupees has to pay 7,000 rupees and a person earning 200,000 has to pay 14,000 rupees a month.

Jayasundera said Sri Lanka was now building roads, water supply and other infrastructure are being built and people can see the changes.

Jayasundera said now all public servants and politicians were also paying tax.

He said regional offices of the inland revenue office will give advisory services to people who walk in free of charge.
http://lbo.lk/fullstory.php?nid=1945664835

2Sri Lanka personal income tax now very low: Treasury Secretary Empty Inland Revenue targets Rs 575b in taxes Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:43 am

sriranga

sriranga
Co-Admin

The Inland Revenue Department targets a revenue of Rs. 575 b this year, Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department, Mallika Samarasekera said.

She said that the Department is confident of achieving this target due to the confidence that has been built among tax payers. We have changed the tax administration culture in the country by creating a tax-friendly environment at the Inland Revenue Department.

“People today are more relaxed and keen to open tax files at our office which provides a feasible environment for tax payers,”Samarasekera said.The need to improve the tax culture and enhance the efficiency of the tax administrative authority is a widely-spoken topic in the country.

The fear among tax payers towards revenue collection authorities, which is a global phenomena is also conspicuous in Sri Lanka.

The tax revenue target for 2012 was revised from Rs. 512 b to Rs. 460 b due to changes made in the threshold and removal of certain taxes. “The Inland Revenue Department will focus on the large tax paying sector this year. The Department will revisit the tax base of the large tax paying group. Currently there are around 1,800 large tax payers in the country. We will revisit the group to identify new comers,” the Commissioner General said.According to a budget proposal all 'Group of companies' will be brought under the large tax payer group. “More workshops and educational programs will be conducted to encourage people to pay tax and broaden the tax base,” Samarasekera said. According to estimates there are a large number of tax evaders who should be brought into the tax net.

“We hope to provide more services at regional offices. The Inland Revenue Department operates 15 regional offices,” she said.The income tax threshold was increased from Rs. 300,000 per annum to Rs. 500,000 and the tax rate has been reduced from a maximum of 35 percent to 24 percent for individuals from 2011.

The threshold for VAT was increased from Rs. 2.5 m to Rs. 12 m per annum to promote SME development in the country.

“As a result of the increase in the threshold more small and medium sector enterprises are excluded from taxes,” an official of the Department said.

With the increase of the threshold, the number of VAT registered corporates has declined from 39,306 to 27,978. The Inland Revenue Department has to maintain 11,328 corporate files.

The liable limit of VAT has been be raised to Rs. 12 m per year from January 1. Consequently any registered person whose taxable supplies are less than three million rupees per quarter or Rs. 12 m per year are required to apply to their respective branch or unit for cancellation of VAT file in terms of section 16 or 17 of the VAT Act.

Such persons are advised not to issue VAT invoices or VAT inclusive invoices and collect VAT.The request for continuation of registration or for new registration where the value of taxable supplies is less than the above limits will not be entertained according to the Act.

A senior official of the Inland Revenue Department said that the Betting and Gaming Levies have been revised. Tax on betting through agents has been increased from Rs. 1,000,000 to Rs. 2,000,000 per year, betting with live telecast - Rs. 300,000 and the tax for for betting without live telecast has not been changed.The tax rate for gaming has been revised from Rs. 50 m to Rs. 100 m per year.In lieu of all indirect taxes five percent will be collected from the gross collection on a monthly basis.

When asked what steps the main tax collection authority has taken to eliminate such fear among tax payers, the Commissioner General said that the Tax Week that was held last year helped to create a healthy rapport between tax officials and tax payers.

“It is not easy to change the attitude of tax payers and tax collection officials overnight. A tax payer service unit was launched last year under the Tax Week to provide information to tax payers and facilitate a better environment for tax administration,” he said.The Inland Revenue Department conducted a 'change-management' program for tax officials.
http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2013/01/06/fin05.asp

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