Nov 25, 2016

Senior citizens cry foul on WHT increase

Senior citizens blamed the government for trying to pick pocket their hard earned savings deposited in banks by increasing the With Holding Tax (WHT) to 5 percent.

The Senior Citizens society in Colombo has sent a letter to the president stating that the government’s 2017 budget proposal on WHT will push them into great financial difficulties as they depend on interest of their savings and fixed deposits in banks.

They urged the President to revise this proposal as it robs their hard earned money in broad day light. The withholding tax increase from 2.5 per cent to 5 per cent is expected to raise an additional 26 billion rupees, the budget document showed.

According to the budget proposal With Holding Tax (WHT) on interest income will be increased to 5 percent from the present level and the exemption applicable on savings account with less than Rs. 60,000 per annum will be removed.

WHT will be re-introduced on specified fees where the payment exceeds Rs. 50,000 per month. Interest income of senior citizens up to Rs. 1.5 million per annum, which is Rs. 125,000 per month, will be exempted from income tax.