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Taxing Times: All 225 MPs on the Tax Radar

07 Jun 2023 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • All entrants to politics required to open a tax file
  • Every person over 18 years will also have to register for income tax 

By Kalani Kumarasinghe  

Responding to criticisms that politicians are not subject to the new tax regulations, State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that all politicians would be required to register for income tax under new regulations.“The new regulation will especially be applicable to politicians,” Siyambalapitiya said.  

The Minister was referring to the gazette issued on May 31, 2023, under the country’s income tax law, where a number of professionals including doctors, accountants, bankers, architects and lawyers of the Supreme Court have to be registered with the Department of Inland Revenue by June 1.  

According to the new regulations, every person over 18 years of age will also have to register for income tax from January 1, 2024. 

“Only Parliamentarians are presently functioning as the representatives of the public. Therefore, we have opened income tax files for all 225 Parliamentarians,” he said.  
Meanwhile, a proposal is being drafted to make income tax registration compulsory for all new entrants to politics, the State Minister said.  

“All entrants to politics, especially those who submit nominations for elections, be it at the Parliament, Provincial Councils and local government levels will be required to open a tax file according to the new proposal,” he said.  Furthermore, this requirement will be extended to Ministerial staff, Siyambalapitiya said.  

“There is no preferential treatment for any particular class. This is to identify those who should pay taxes in the country,” he said, adding that the regulation will come into effect immediately.