Jul 16, 2017

Public protest mounts against the new Inland Revenue bill

The public opposition is mounting against Sri Lanka’s new inland revenue bill which is to be presented in parliament soon unless the government takes measures to create awareness on the provisions and details of the bill before enacting it by the legislature, tax experts said.

Tax payers will abide by new act and pay tax if they understand the basis of it and accept the law as reasonable; they said pointing out that tax payers should be made aware and accord them the right to challenge the acts of the IRD officials, if they contravened the provisions of the Act.

People do not have to take to streets protest against the bill. If all taxpayers join together as an association and boycott the paying of taxes, the government will have to withdraw or amend the Act or take all of them into custody and send them to jail, human rights activist said.

Joint opposition MP Bandula Gunawardena said that they will resort to legal action and fight tooth and nail in parliament if government goes ahead with the bill.

He noted that the joint opposition is against the 10% rate for non-corporate entities such as charitable institutions, employee trust funds, provident or pension funds and 14% increase in termination funds.

All the amendments made to previous tax ordinance for the implementation of tax proposals made in the 2017 budget should be included in the new bill, he said vowing to go to courts challenging the act repeating the same plight met by 2016 budget to the 2017 budget as well.

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