The Golden Key (GK) Depositors’ Association is protesting against fresh attempts made by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to tax depositors who are struggling to exist without their capital or interest.
GK depositors who have not paid taxes on their interest earnings or had invested untaxed `black’ money on high interest terms will be liable to pay their tax dues, Commissioner General, Inland Revenue Department Mahinda Medagoda reiterated this week. However he added that the department has not taken any action so far to recover these taxes.
He noted that the tax department will not go after the ‘sprats’ although they have widened the tax net to catch ‘big sharks’ who are evading taxes.
Depositors’ Association President Anusha Emmert said that while GK victims could not even find the money for their day to day living, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is sending out letters demanding taxes.
She said that aggrieved depositors leading miserable lives are being driven towards further difficulties by this action of levying taxes of 15 to 35 % on their interest income earned earlier.
This was stated at the meeting chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Saturday to discuss GK and other Ceylinco issues, she said. It is also happening despite assurances by Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and tax chief Mahinda Medagoda that whatever dues will be recovered after depositors are repaid. But Mr Medagoda noted that the department is not taxing over 3,000 investors whose deposits are Rs. 1 million or below.
There are over 7,000 depositors who have deposited sums of money ranging from Rs. 250,000 to Rs. 8 million while a few have invested Rs. 200 million and over.