IRB will have negative impact on Sri Lankans: Bandula

The Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill (IRB) which is to be tabled in Parliament next week weighted in favour of foreigners and a disadvantage to Sri Lankans, MP Bandula Gunawardane said today.

He told a joint opposition news briefing that according to the new Bill, Sri Lankans working abroad would be taxed when they bring in their wealth to the country.

“However, foreigners working here will be exempted from taxes when they take away their income out of the country. This is not rational,” the MP said.

He said the Bill would adversely impact on low-income families because those who are with an annual income of Rs.600,000 would be taxed 4% of their annual income.

The MP said senior citizens and those engaged in crop cultivation would also be severely affected by the new amendments.

“Fixed Deposits, mostly maintained by senior citizens as a major source of income in the evening of their life, had also been victimized by the new taxes. The minimum withholding tax which was 2.5% for FDs would be increased to 5% while farmers and others engaged in agriculture or corp cultivation will be taxed when they obtain a bigger loan. This would be the first time a farmer will have to pay a tax for the financial concessions they receive,” he said.

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