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New Tax Act comes into effect

Sri Lanka’s new Inland Revenue act aimed at simplifying the taxes and ease the burden on the low-income people, will come into effect from yesterday, Inland Revenue Department says.

According to Commissioner of Inland Revenue Department Ivan Dissanayake, following the new Tax Act, taxes have been amended in a number of fields and will depend on the income of the taxpayer.

New Tax Revenue Act No. 24 of 2017 is being implemented now and it will change the tax policies of several sectors.

According to the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera the act will ease the burden on the low-income people and effectively implement the revenue laws on the high-income group.

The Minister earlier said the main objective of the new Inland Revenue Act is to simplify the tax system in order to create an investor friendly environment that will attract more foreign direct investments. He says the present tax system in place is complicated and that investors find it difficult to understand.

The Act will reduce the indirect taxes levied from the people from 80% to 60% and increase the direct taxes from 20% to 40% within three years.

The Minister notes that there has been no increase in tax revenue in parallel to the rise in the country’s income and Sri Lanka’s tax revenue remains low when compared to other countries in the region.

According to him, the new Inland Revenue act will make it obligatory for eligible taxpayers to pay their taxes. However people earning an annual income below Rs. 1.2 million (Rs. 100,000 per month) will not be taxed under the new act.

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