State Finance Minister explains new tax Act State Finance Minister explains new tax Act
Aug 18, 2017

No tax on migrant workers' money - Eran

The proposed Tax Bill will not impose new taxes on money transferred by migrant workers to Sri Lanka, State minister of Finance - Eran Wickramaratne.

He was speaking on this regard during a Facebook Live interview with the BBC Sinhala Service.

During a recent press briefing, JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi had said that the new Tax Bill would impose a tax on money sent by migrant workers.

"This new Tax Bill states that taxes should be imposed on professionals. A large number of Sri Lankan professionals work in many European countries. Instead of providing tax concessions to encourage them, the government has taken measures to discourage them by imposing taxes, the MP had said.

No change

However, State minister Wickramarathne maintained that the process of money transfering to Sri Lanka would remain unchanged and no new tax would be imposed.

“The new Bill does not impose any new tax on foreign workers… Money sent by migrant workers to their families will not undergo any change,” State minister Wickramaratne had said.

EPF / ETF

Speaking on charges citing that there is an attempt to charge special tax from the EPF / ETF funds, the State minister said that discussions are still underway to decide whether taxes should be imposed on individuals who will receive large sums such as Rs. 10 million, Rs. 20 million or Rs. 30 million from these funds.

“No taxes will be imposed on anyone who fall on a regular scale. What is being discussed is on the social justice when one receives a massive amount of money. Because while there are people who receive a monthly sum of Rs. 20,000, there are others who receive Rs. 200,000 or Rs. 20 million,” he added.

However, a final decision on this regard is yet to be reached, he further said.

Decades old

Noting that the prevailing taxation system in the system is decades old, the State minister said that the new Bill is formulated to suit the present times.

“The number of decisions that can be made by politicians has been limited and all benefits and limitations have been clearly stated,” he added.

Pointing out the number of taxpayers in Sri Lanka is relatively low when compared to that of other countries, State minister Wickramarathne said that measures should be taken to obtain taxes from high-income receivers who are liable to pay taxes.

(BBC Sinhala Service)

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