However, he said that does not mean that everyone has to pay taxes.
Commencing the Inland Revenue Act debate in parliament today the Minister made these comments.
The minister also explained the benefits made available to those who poses a tax file and relevant card.
He said those who pay taxes would be able to visit the museum, zoo and Sigiriya free of charge.
If you love you country pay your taxes:
During the reading of the Bill today, Minister Samaraweera said he was happy to be able to introduce a new Inland Revenue Bill if the House required it and all citizens who love this country must pay as much income tax as possible.
“Increasing taxes has become a necessity and I hope that everyone will render their fullest cooperation. Today Sri Lanka is among the countries that pay the least amount of taxes. It is the common man who carries most of the tax burden and not those making huge profits. We are the last in our zone.”
The rich 20% control 51.9% of the total income:
Samaraweera also said the rich, despite only constituting 20 percent of the population, were controlling 51.9 percent of the total income, whereas the poor only had access to 4 percent of the income.
Through indirect taxes the rich and poor both pay the same amount of taxes and that is why it is important to increase the direct taxes.
Who is against reducing indirect taxes in order to develop the country locally? We too are trying to reduce the indirect taxes.
No taxes if less than 100,000:
We intend to introduce a universal tax file number which is a very simple method. By that we do not expect everyone to pay taxes.
Those earning less than Rs. 100,000 will be exempt from having to pay taxes.
Inland Revenue Bill Passed
The Second Reading of the Inland Revenue Bill was passed in parliament today (7), with a majority vote.
Accordingly, 100 voted for and 41 voting against.
The Inland Revenue Bill third reading is scheduled to take place tomorrow.