Drama Tax

Mar 23 (LBO) – Sri Lanka passed controversial laws on Tuesday to tax imported movies, dramas, sitcoms and commercials, though tax rates and conditions have not yet been decided. The law makes way for a Teledrama, Film and Commercials levy on imports of all television stations as well as commercials made out of the country and imported for local telecast.

The idea, according to the law, is to improve standards of local productions and “ensure the propagation of Sri Lankan values”, through these local productions.

The Treasury is still working out the fine print tax rates, implementation and which values are ‘non-Sri Lankan’ enough to be taxable before broadcast.

The government has proposed that imported Tamil, English, Hindi and other programs be taxed at Rs75,000 (US$ 750) per movie, while other serials are charged at the same rate for five half hour blocks.

The special tax could cover repeat broadcasts, R T L Weerasinghe, Senior Tax Advisor at the Treasury told LBOon Wednesday, though conditions are still not final.

“We are working towards an April implementation date and the Minister will gazette the regulations, terms and conditions of the new lev