“Tax amendments proposed through budget cannot be enforced” – Inland Revenue Dept in a quandary

“Tax amendments proposed through budget cannot be enforced” – Inland Revenue Dept in a quandary

“Tax amendments proposed through budget cannot be enforced” – Inland Revenue Dept in a quandary

Written by Keshala Dias

10 Apr, 2017 | 10:06 pm

Trade unions at the Inland Revenue Department says it has become impossible to implement certain tax amendments proposed in the 2017 budget.

The Department is allegedly yet to receive gazette notifications regarding these tax amendments.

As per the budget proposals, the income tax and economic service charge amendments were to come into effect from April 1.

Several changes have been made to income tax, capital gains tax, tax concessions for exports and tax concessions for investments, under the Inland Revenue Act, Number 10 of 2006.

The relevant legislation must be adopted by Parliament in order to implement these amendments,

H.L. Udayasiri, Convener – Inland Revenue Trade Unions Joint Committee speaking on the issue said:

[quote]”These tax proposals should be implemented from the 1st of April. Certain amendments should have been implemented since January. But the legislation necessary to implement this is yet to reach the Department via Parliament. In fact, no legislation regarding changes to the Inland Revenue Act, the VAT Act and the Nation Building Tax Act, have reached the Department as yet. This is the main problem”.[/quote]

Meanwhile, Ajith Galahena, General Secretary – Inland Revenue General Employees Union) stated thus:

[quote]”Since the legal procedure has not been established, this places officials in a difficult position. They have a problem regarding whether they are to collect taxes as per existing legislation or whether they are to collect taxes under the post budget regulations. Not only the officials, this also inconveniences the taxpayers and intermediaries in the tax process. So while the government is pressuring the department to meet all the revenue targets, it is a serious problem that they have not introduced the Legislation to assist in this task”.[/quote]

Professor Aminda Methsila Perera speaking on the matter said: [quote]”This problem is one that arose last year as well. The government makes proposals, but the enabling legislation has not been drafted. The government is now unable to impose certain taxes which should have come into effect on the first of April. Why have they failed for five months since the passing of the budget to introduce the necessary Legislation? The government needs to pay special attention to this inefficient administration of public institutions”.[/quote]

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