Sri Lanka raises turnover tax

April 08, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is tripling a newly introduced non-recoverable business turnover tax from May 01, 2009 as the country grapples with a currency crisis, and state revenues fall with a slowing economy. Profligate fiscal policies followed since 2004 have now landed the island in a currency crisis and made it ill-prepared to meet a global downturn and forced the country to go for an International Monetary Fund bailout.

Analysts say an IMF stand-by arrangement may go to its executive board by April 25 if Sri Lanka is able to fulfill a series of prior actions.

The tax amendment is expected to be introduced to parliament in April.

The nation building tax (NBT), was introduced from February this year at one percent largely on businesses liable to value added tax .

But a proposed amendment to the tax law published on March 30 says it will be raised to 3.0 percent and charged on the same basis as earlier.

Exporters and suppliers to exporters, such as tea factories, would be exempt from the tax, a treasury official said.

The NBT is a not fully recoverable and can be high yielding.

The proposed amendment will also clear up some ambiguities on export input credit.

Analy