Sri Lanka’s premier business chamber yesterday stressed the need to consult the country’s private sector before finalising the proposed Inland Revenue Bill, which is expected to come into effect from April 1, 2017.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said it was alerted by its members that the government is in the process of formulating a new Inland Revenue Bill and therefore it made submissions last week to the government containing recommendations and observations on the proposed bill.
The CCC said the Taxation Steering Committee of the chamber, which has member representation across many sectors, and is all professionals with expertise in this area, met several times, deliberated it in detail and compiled a set of comprehensive observations and recommendations on the draft bill.
The chamber noted that as with all chamber submissions, the viewpoint was of the entire private sector but bearing in mind the national needs for enhancing revenue.
“Given the wide implications of a new act governing the Inland Revenue regime, on business operations and investor confidence, we believe that consultation with the private sector is important, prior to finalizing a new statute,” a CCC statement said.
A statement issued by the International Monetary Fund on March 7, 2017, winding up its staff mission to Sri Lanka, also stated that “… advancing the legislative process for the new Inland Revenue Act, with effective public consultations, is a critical step towards rebalancing the tax system toward a more predictable, efficient and equitable structure”.
The CCC said it fully supports the efforts to modernize the tax system— both in terms of tax policy, tax law and tax administration.
“We look forward to an early opportunity to engage with the authorities to discuss our suggestions and concerns and hope that the Finance Ministry and Inland Revenue Department open up this space,” the CCC statement added.
The submission is available for download on the CCC website www.chamber.lk.