Sri Lanka to crackdown on tax evaders

Colombo, Nov 16 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s Inland Revenue Department will carry out raids on businesses to crack down on tax evasion, the media reported on Wednesday.

Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department, Kalyani Dahanayake, said the department’s aim was to widen the tax base and get people to pay their taxes, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We will be going all over country even after office hours to get people not in the tax net to be brought in,” she said.

Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the department had more than doubled the number of tax files since the new government came to power in January last year, but many remained outside the tax net.

He said that while Sri Lanka’s population consists of 23 million people, there were only 43,000 corporate tax files, 21,000 VAT files and 25,000 Nation Building Tax files.

These are only nine per cent of tax files compared to the population, he said.

“Isn’t this disgraceful? Pay your due call and ask as much as you want from the government. But don’t pay nothing and ask for everything,” the minister said.

“I have asked Inland Revenue, Customs, the Excise Department and the Treasury to be vigilant and go after everybody,” he said.

–IANS

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