Tax file for all eligible persons on the cards – Guruge

A tax file will be opened for every eligible person in the country in the near future.

Department of Inland Revenue Deputy Commissioner General Nadun Guruge elaborating on the department’s plans for doubling the tax revenue to Rs 1,200 billion by 2020, said yesterday that they will be guided by three concepts which are broadening the tax base of income tax, NBT and VAT, increasing the revenue and improving the quality of service to tax payers in the country.

Guruge said last year they had reached Rs 641 billion as tax revenue exceeding the budgeted target of Rs 537 billion and in 2020 they target to double that figure to Rs 1,200 billion.

The expected revenue for this year is Rs 773 billion and up to date they have collected Rs 384 billion, which is a 135% increase compared to 2016, he said.

He also said by 2020 the government intends to change the percentage of tax contribution to 40% direct tax and 60% indirect tax, from the current 80% indirect and 20% direct tax.

Guruge said they treat the taxpayers with much respect as they contribute to the development of the country and the Inland Revenue Department contributes to 44% of the total tax revenue of the country.

He said the tax revenue is utilized for national security of the country, free medical services, free education, Samurdhi welfare scheme, payment of salaries to government servants, payment to pensioners, infrastructure development, construction of highways and the payment of debt services, etc. All these were possible because of the taxpayers who are a dignified lot, he said.

With this plan, the Inland Revenue Department intends to increase the number of taxpayers from the current registered figure which is 1.4 million to 3 million in 2020 with income tax files increasing to 2.2 million, VAT to 150,000 and NBT to 650,000.

Similarly, the Department’s services which were centered in Colombo could be also obtained from their 20 regional offices and from the call centre hot line 1944, he said. In the future they will also use email and alerts to keep taxpayers informed, he said.

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