Highly-paid tuition teachers are now in the sights of the Tax Man and the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue Ivan Dissanayake says he is targeting 40,000 people engaged in this profession.
Speaking at a tax seminar for tuition teachers, at the IRD Headquarters in Colombo, Dissanayake said, that currently only a few tuition teachers have tax files.
Taxable income for tuition teachers is any earnings above Rs 500,000 per year, under the current Act which is valid until 31 March 2018.
A tax of four per cent will be imposed on the second 500,000 and these levies will gradually increase up to a maximum of 24 per cent.
The new IRD Act, passed in Parliament recently, will be in force from 1 April.
Dissanayake said, that this was the first of such seminars targeting such trades and professions. To follow are similar seminars for other professions such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, doctors and personnel from other technical and professional services.
Dissanayake said, that if tax dodgers are netted in, taxes could be reduced for all.
IRD Deputy Commissioner General Nadun Guruge, who also spoke, said that 45% of the island’s tax revenue is collected by the IRD.
He said, those who are over 18 years of age will be profiled by the IRD for tax purposes, which, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that new tax files will be opened for all of them.
Samurdhi recipients and manual labourers will be excluded from the profiling.
He said, that the revenue administration and management information system (RAMIS) software, built at a cost of over Rs 5 billion, is 95 per cent complete. Once completed, RAMIS will be able to accept e-payments, e-registrations and e-returns.
Guruge said that 35 companies would be brought to the RAMIS net by March, which will e-link institutions such as the Registrars of Companies, Motor Vehicles and Land, whilst also feeding the IRD of information of those whose monthly phone and electricity bills are over Rs 25,000.
He said that these lectures would also be conducted in the periphery.
IRD Deputy Commissioner (IRDDC) Mahesh Ranawakaarachchi said that RAMIS would enhance tax compliance and revenue collection.
IRDDC Kelum Wijerathne said that RAMIS will indicate whether legal action has to be taken against tax dodgers while at the same time keeping a tab on the relevant assessor to see whether he was doing his job. ‘There is no escape from RAMIS even for the revenue officer, it is the power of the machine over man where the former prevails,’ he said.