Nearly 200,000 new tax payers in 2023 says IRD

Monday, 20 November 2023 00:33 –      – 97

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  • COPA calls for new system to ensure Govt. receives VAT paid by the public properly 
  • Urges immediate upgrade of RAMIS; connection with Registrar of Companies still pending

Nearly 200,000 new tax payers have been registered in 2023 so far whilst the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) last week urged expeditious upgrade to the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS).

This and other recommendations figured when the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) was questioned in the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) whether the Government is properly receiving the Value Added Tax (VAT) paid by the public for various goods.

At present, about 13,000 institutions have registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and the Inland Revenue Department officials said that they are investigating the payment of the relevant tax to the government by those institutions. The committee pointed out that the institutions that collect VAT from the public should prepare a system to receive the taxes correctly to the Government.

This was discussed when the Committee on Public Accounts met in Parliament on 15.11.2023 under the chairmanship of the State Minister Hon. Lasantha Alagiyawanna to examine the Auditor General’s reports and current performance of the Inland Revenue Department for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The COPA Chairman asked the officials whether there is a possibility to take over and maintain the RAMIS computer system in the Inland Revenue Department itself. However, the officials of the Inland Revenue Department informed the Committee that they cannot take over and maintain the system due to the lack of proper human resources.

It was revealed in the committee that 6 institutes have already been connected to the RAMIS computer system and the Department of the Registrar of Companies is still delayed in connecting to the RAMIS system due to some technical reason. Accordingly, the committee recommended to the Department of the Registrar of Companies to immediately upgrade their system and connect with the RAMIS system. A report on its progress was also directed to be forwarded to the committee before the first of January 2023.

The Chairman also instructed to provide a complete report on the tax levied under several classifications as well as a complete report on the arrears of Rs. 943 billion to be collected to the committee.

The COPA also asked the officials about the registration of new taxpayers. According to the officials, about 198,253 new taxpayers have been registered so far in 2023. The Inland Revenue Department officials further commented that it has been identified that there are about 16 million citizens over the age of 18 and special programs are being implemented to include them in the tax payment process.

State Ministers Mohan Priyadarshana de Silva, Prasanna Ranaweera, Chamara Sampath Dasanayake, Diana Gamage, MPs Tissa Attanayake, A. L. M. Ataullah, Ashok Abeysinghe, Manjula Dissanayake, Weerasumana Weerasinghe and a group of Government officials were present at this meeting.


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