Chamber says Govt., tax policies need to be more consistent and transparent

Sri Lanka’s private sector is not amused by the latest government hat trick of making changes to taxes by putting out press notices and backdating the effective date. Sri Lanka’s private sector is not amused by the latest government hat trick of making changes to taxes by putting out press notices and backdating the effective date. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce – Sri Lanka’s largest organized private sector trade body – in a press release on Friday expressed concerns about the government’s latest attempt at jacking up its revenues.

The Chamber warned against effecting tax changes by press notifications, “as this lacked legal validity.”

“In some instances, said the press release from the Chamber, “the implications had not been sufficiently considered, leading to uncertainty in the private sector.”

Meanwhile making retrospective changes to taxes, or backdating the effective date of paying tax was cited as bad for business.

In September the government enacted five tax Bills of which most of the taxes come into effect retrospectively.

The new taxes include the Economic Service Charge (ESC), the partnership tax, the tax on purchases of property by foreig