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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Professionals, luxury vehicle owners evade tax

The Island: 29/03/2006" by Don Asoka Wijewardena

Several doctors, lawyers, engineers, private tuition masters and people paying telephone bills upto Rs.10,000 per month are alleged to have evaded paying income tax. Action will be taken to recover the due taxes in accordance with the Inland Revenue Act, Inland Revenue Commissioner General A. A. Wijapala told The Island.

Wijapala said that he had already formulated an effective plan to catch tax and value added tax (VAT) defaulters who had been defrauding the Inland Revenue Department. He added that of the 19.2 million population only 300,000 people had been paying income tax. He said around 17,800 luxury vehicle owners, registered in the RMV in 2005, were also found to be tax defaulters.

He pointed out that the department’s strategy would be to catch the dodgers in order to augment revenue to the department within next three years. He said that he had prepared a project aimed at collecting Rs.176 billion from VAT, Rs.75 billion from income tax, Rs.6 billion from debit and Rs.3.7 billion from stamp duties.

Referring to the VAT refund, Wijapala said that action had been taken to set up an audit procedure and all cheques payable to relevant individuals would be posted and no cheque would be hand delivered. He also noted that due to lack of feedback from customers a plethora of problems regarding VAT refund had arisen and added that it had been solved as Inland Revenue was linked with Customs Department.

Referring to the vacancies in the department, Wijapala said that action had also been taken to fill existing vacancies before July 2006 as the department had been functioning without 539 assessors and 544 tax officers.

He said divisional inland revenue offices, which would register and open files for new tax and VAT payers would also be increased within the next three years in order to accrue more revenue to the department.

The tax Chief revealed that Inland Revenue had been keeping an eye on people travelling to China, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore on business trips had also been evading paying income tax. He added that arrangements were being made to obtain information on their business activities.

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