Audio: We’ll not tax owners of old houses: Harsha

30 January 2015 08:22 am - 25     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Policy Planning and Economic Development Deputy Minister Harsha De Silva said today the Mansion Tax would not apply to owners of old houses which they had inherited but on the rich who had built huge mansions without any paying any taxes to the Government.

“This is not meant to tax owners ofold houses they had inherited. It is a means of obtaining funds from those who have built huge mansions without paying taxes owed by them to the Treasury,” he said.

He said they would work out a system on how best to implement this tax and who should or should not be exempted from it.

“We will not impose this tax unfairly on those who have inherited the ownership of the houses from their ancestors,” Dr. de Silva said.


  Comments - 25

  • Fred Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:43 AM

    These are short term measures.Ultimately it is about productivity hard work, saving Govt can help to achieve these goals by getting their priorities right and building the necessary infrastructure

    Observer Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:52 AM

    This clearly shows that you are targeting some individuals who have built mansions with over night acquired wealth. Why not mention their names and clear the worries of others.

    Patriot Friday, 30 January 2015 05:23 PM

    First give all the opportunity, support and incentives for people to be entrepreneurs. Once they build their business successfully, Govt. can Tax them.

    Hara Friday, 30 January 2015 09:17 PM

    what if some one has declared taxes for the house and built are they going to tax them againIf some one has built a large house assess its value and tax them for the income they have not shown . Also does a 5000 sq ft house get the same treatment as a 20000 sq ft house?

    Fozzy Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:16 AM

    How do you clarify old houses? Houses before election or houses after election. If you want to target a specific people then be specific? What about people who earned money abroad and built houses here? People who build houses does not mean they are super rich. Many are broke after building house. We in Sri Lanka have to spend almost double to build a house compared to the regional countries of similar sized houses. One govt already squeezed us to the core by this exorbitant material cost. The other want to take away what ever left now. How worst it can get.

    fozzy Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:17 AM

    Also more than one bicycle.

    fozzy Saturday, 31 January 2015 07:27 AM

    The problem is this so called policy makers seem to think the ones who work hard, take risk, who pay wages, who provide employment, who contribute to the countries economy and growth are kind of bad guys and want to punish them. If these rich has become rich from govt money you may tax them the way you want. But not all.

    akn Friday, 30 January 2015 03:13 PM

    Do not look at rich people as thieves. If they had not paid taxes, then implement robust procedures to ensure rich people are taxed accordingly. Hate and anger should not be the base for policy making.

    Nadik Friday, 30 January 2015 05:58 PM

    A wealth tax / mansion tax is a good idea and true patriots should have no qualms about paying. However the new government should not appear amateur by proposing and then backtracking.

    Cobra Saturday, 31 January 2015 08:11 AM

    I do not think that this tax is reasonable. Pursue tax defaulters by all means but this is tax and the quantum is downright absurd and will surely discourage people from building big houses in the future.

    Positive Person Saturday, 31 January 2015 05:40 PM

    Sri Lanka should be renamed as "New Sri Lanka" with present positive development in politics, infrastructure and human resources.

    Words Friday, 30 January 2015 06:21 PM

    Amateur achcharu is what they are.... I guess we will next hear that Ravi K has written his house to his children... And it thus falls under ancestral property

    Henry Monday, 02 February 2015 09:52 AM

    Declaration of Asserts

    Richard Friday, 30 January 2015 06:30 PM

    Its a good move by the govt. In addition they should also impose another tax for people who have more than 1 car as our roads are all ready clogged up with too many vehicles.

    Yasin Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:28 AM

    I feel that the current tax system needs a complete overhaul. Tax is the main revenue of any country, especially in Sri Lanka where we are still generous in providing free education and free medical services. Every citizen pays an indirect tax by way of purchases for basic needs, travel, medicine etc. The inland revenue dept. is responsible to collect taxes from known sources of income either by business, investments, inheritance, properties, wages from employment, entertainment, extra facilities like an additional item to the household or establishment, cars for instance where a family can own one car and additional vehicle must be taxed. a reasonable tax on overseas travel. foreign employed persons also must be levied a fixed tax of Rs.5000 per annum.. There are so many ways the IRD can levy taxes to garner an income to meet the nations expenses. This step may be abhorred by some who have also dodged the IRD by outsmarting them or by deceiving the nation by corrupting IRD officials by way of bribing. The nation needs honest citizen for the success and development of the nation.

    Poor Man Saturday, 31 January 2015 09:46 AM

    To me this govt looks very immature - too many sound bytes :)

    Sabitha Saturday, 31 January 2015 12:00 AM

    Who is the Finance Minister? One proposes the other dispose.

    sri Friday, 30 January 2015 04:37 PM

    Thanks for clarification !

    sri Friday, 30 January 2015 04:38 PM

    Some got rich overnight !

    Ranga Saturday, 31 January 2015 02:16 AM

    What the government needs is a proper land appraisal mechanism where the appraised value of properties will be either close or within reason to the market value of the property. Once a proper data base is maintained with a properly appraised values of properties, the government will be able to come up with a reasonable allocation of property taxes irrespective of whether the dwelling will be a small house or a big mansion. The appraised value should be encompassing of the land value and the value of the dwelling. Without a complete overhaul of the process, this would be just a short sighted vision.

    Munil Friday, 30 January 2015 07:52 PM

    But "all" are not responsible for the deeds of "some", right?

    DJ Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:59 AM

    Tax system should be equal for all this 1 million crap will not work. Like in developed countries the closer u are to the city the higher taxes u pay. Remember do not clasify all rich people as thieves, some hv worked hard for their cash. That is democratic thinking should apply to all citizens

    Perera Saturday, 31 January 2015 03:00 AM

    Policies on the run are not good for the country.

    Priyalal de Silva Saturday, 31 January 2015 03:16 AM

    What about the people who worked abroad all their working lives and invested their life savings in a big house in the motherland to live in their retirement? Now we really regret having invested our hard earned money in Sri Lanka!! I will not bring back even a cent of my remaining money earned through employment overseas to Sri Lanka.

    Prof.J.Jinadasa Friday, 30 January 2015 08:14 PM

    Harsha, try and introduce a law to declare wealth annually, so that public can know if here is huge wealth accumilation. The US President declare wealth in public

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