Aug 05, 2018

Automation causing loss of billions in taxes, IRD union leaders say Featured

Inland Revenue Department union officials have written to Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera alleging that the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS) introduced two years ago to streamline tax collection is causing a loss of tax revenue running into billions of rupees.

The system introduced in 2016 is not yielding the expected results due to shortcomings, say the officials who represent three IRD unions.

The Inland Revenue Staff Officers Union Joint Secretary H.A.L. Udayasiri said that in the financial year 2015-2016, an estimated Rs 50 billion had not been collected because the system delays prevented a complete audit. “In the past, a specific officer had been assigned to cover a particular type of tax but now with the automated system there is confusion with no clarity as to who is handling a particular tax. This leads to confusion especially when legal action has to be taken against tax evaders or when cases have to be referred to the Bribery Commission or other authorities,” he said.

The official said tax officers were not against the computer system but wanted it streamlined so that tax collection could be maximised.

The 5-billion-rupee RAMIS project was to be connected to 23 state agencies but that too had not happened as yet, he complained. “We have written to the Finance Minister so that he can look into the shortcomings and take corrective action,” he said, adding that the union leaders had sought an appointment with the minister to discuss the issues. The Inland Revenue Department and Finance Ministry officials declined to comment.