Reverse Psychology

The Inland Revenue Dept has submitted a paper to overturn part of the tax amnesty bill presented by the previous government. The Inland Revenue Dept has submitted a paper to overturn part of the tax amnesty bill presented by the previous government. Once parliamentary nod comes through, the amendment will give the taxman powers to recover the indirect tax component declared by taxpayers.

“The amnesty for income tax will remain. But we will recover dues for indirect taxes like goods and service tax, national security levy, customs duties and so on,” Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, K Suseelar told a news conference on Wednesday.

He said the Treasury lost some Rs. 200 bn due to the amnesty but only about Rs. 50 bn of it could have been recovered, as the balance was under dispute.

Over 50,000 people applied for the tax amnesty last year and the then government said it was willing to write off billions, provided people came forward and opened fresh files.

Despite President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s disapproval, the previous government pushed ahead with this piece of legislation as it faced a massive Rs. 46