The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is organising an Open Forum on the topic ‘Taxes in Sri Lanka – Value for Money?’ on Wednesday, May 5 , 2010 in Colombo.
Panellists are Prof. W. D. Lakshman, Chairman, Presidential Commission on Taxation, Dr. R. M. Fernando, Executive Director, Aitken Spence PLC, N. R. Gajendran, Senior Partner, Gajma & Company, Colombo and K. D. J. Christopher, President Workers Organization for Tax Relief. Ms. Anila Dias Bandaranaike, Retired Assistant Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka will be the facilitator, the FES said.
It said in Sri Lanka less than 8% of the 8 million people pay Personal Income Tax to the Inland Revenue Department.
Hence, Corporate and Personal Income Tax only accounts for 19% of state revenue.
Meanwhile, with the tax-free threshold for annual personal income at Rs. 25,000 per month, recent evidence on Sri Lanka’s overall economic development clearly indicates that many more individuals and businesses should be liable for income tax by now.
Issues that are to be discussed at the seminar :
- Do we know what our taxes pay for?
- What value do potential tax payers expect in return for their tax rupees?
- Is the Tax System balancing the charges and returns between payers and non-payers and between rich and poor adequately?
- How can we reduce the costs of the tax system while improving its performance?