Sri Lanka lifts tax surcharge from personal incomes

April 12, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has lifted a surcharge on personal income tax from February 2008, but it would remain in place for companies, the government said Saturday. The government said by public advertisement that a ‘social responsibility levy’ charged from personal income taxes would be withdrawn.

Sri Lanka charged a one percent tax from the salary bills of workers liable for pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax.

PAYE is charged as an alternative to income tax mostly from private sector workers before they file a tax return.

The charge on income taxes of companies would continue to be in place, an advertisement placed by the director general of fiscal policy said.

Sri Lanka got less than expected revenue last year, resulting in massive money printing and commercial bank borrowing in the third quarter, though they were later re-paid with proceeds of a sovereign bond issue.

In real terms revenues (tax and non-tax) reversed to 15.8 percent of GDP in 2007 from 16.3 percent in 2006.

The government was expecting to push total revenues to 16.9 percent of GDP. Tax revenues fell to 14.2 percent from 14.6 percent in 2006, while the target was 15.2 perc