Taxing confusion

Thursday, 4 January 2024 03:04 –      – 107

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  • State Minister suspends TIN fine whilst Inland Revenue Department issues warning

State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya yesterday announced the temporary suspension of the Rs. 50,000 fine specified by legal provisions for individuals failing to comply with Tax Identification Number (TIN) requirements.

However, this revelation is in contrast to the Inland Revenue Department’s recent notice, cautioning that individuals not obtaining a TIN could face penalties, potentially reaching Rs. 50,000 with enforcement scheduled to commence from 1 January 2024.

The conflicting statements have sparked discussions about the coherence of Government directives regarding TIN compliance and associated penalties.

Despite the legal requirement for individuals over 18 years to obtain a TIN, Siyambalapitiya clarified that a non-compliance fine will not be implemented at present citing the importance of balancing fiscal measures.

Speaking to journalists in Ruwanwella yesterday, Siyambalapitiya highlighted that the intention of the tax reform is not to oppress the people.

“Although certain tax measures were implemented to boost the Government’s revenue, it is not to impose unnecessary financial burdens on the citizens,” he added.

The State Minister underscored that obtaining a TIN does not automatically translate to an obligation to pay taxes.

He specified that only individuals with a net monthly income of Rs. 100,000 or more are required to pay income tax.

“The Government’s focus is on targeted taxation rather than imposing unnecessary financial burdens on the broader population,” Siyambalapitiya said.

On 27 December 2023 in a notice to the public, the Inland Revenue Department reiterated it is mandatory for persons at the age of 18 or more, or who turn 18 years on or after 1 January, to register and obtain a TIN.

Further, any persons receiving an income exceeding Rs. 1,200,000 for a year of assessment (from 1 April of a year to 31 March of the following year) must register for income tax.

The public has the option of registering online at, requesting registration by post, or registering in person at the IRD.


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