Sri Lanka Fin Min calls on professionals to step up and pay their taxes

Jun 20, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera called on professionals like doctors, lawyers, tuition masters, architects and others to come forward and pay their taxes.

“Our doctors, lawyers, tuition masters, architects have been funded by taxpayers money through free education,” the Minister said in Colombo Tuesday.

“It is only fair that they step up and start paying their taxes in line with the new law – then as a government we can look at giving more subsidies for the people.”

The Minister said that when this happens we can also balance out the direct – indirect tax imbalance.

At present in Sri Lanka only 18 percent of taxes are collected through direct taxes and 82 percent is indirect taxes.

“We need to change this into a more balanced 40 – 60 ratio. This is the target we have for 2020.”

The Minister added that when comparing with taxation in the region, Sri Lanka’s top marginal income tax was very fair.

“Sri Lanka’s 24 percent is very fair compared to other countries,” he said.

“In India its 35 percent, China is 45 percent, Thailand is 35 percent, Bangladesh 30 percent and Malaysia is 28 percent.”

In the past two months 69,000 new tax files have been opened compared to the 400,000 total tax files that were opened to date.

Inland Revenue Department (IRD) Commissioner General Ivan Dissanayake said total taxes collected by IRD from 1 January to 13 June amounted to 276.7 billion rupees compared to the 256 billion rupees collected in the corresponding period last year.