Monday, December 4, 2023

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Tax department’s RAMIS becomes a white elephant.

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka’s Revenue Administration and Management Information System (RAMIS) being operated at the Inland Revenue Department has become a white elephant eating taxpayers money without much contribution to revenue collection, parliamentary sectoral committee report revealed.

The Committee observed that: when renewing the agreement with Singaporean company which developed and maintains RAMIS 2.0, attention should be focused to upgrade it in compliance with the proposed new taxes (Inheritance tax and Wealth tax etc.)

It has to be integrated with other state institutions connected with IRD.and use National Identity Card Number as the unique identification number

The system has to be upgraded with the technical capacity to prevent the delays in registration of tax files.

The development of all modules of RAMIS will be finalized by September 2023 Rs. 1258 million of default taxes has been accumulated due to a system error of RAMIS in the total amount of held over tax as at31.12.2022 and also the IRD has informed that there are lot of data entry errors in the RAMIS

The tax department’s RAMIS, currently doesn’t function properly. The proposals suggest that RAMIS would need to be updated properly in order to improve the IRD’s efficiency.

Back in 2014, the IRD under the Ministry of Finance, invested Rs 10 billion towards building RAMIS.

The idea was to modernize and improve the tax collection process. However, it’s now revealed that the system doesn’t operate as intended, despite the fact that “more money has already been spent to strengthen this system,”

The RAMIS should be fully automated without any manual process and it should be capable of preventing the accumulation of default taxes, the committee suggested. .

It has been initially proposed to interlink 6 public institutions with RAMIS and now it is expected to interlink 29 public institutions.

The agreement with the Singaporean Company to develop and maintain the RAMIS 2.0 will be expired by 31st January 2024, and the internal capacity including the human resources of the Department has not been developed to take over the full responsibility of the RAMIS 2.0 by the end of January 2024.

Business entities related to Betting and Gaming Levy Act, No.40 of 1988 such as Casinos are not included and operated by the RAMIS.

There is a lack of trained and technically competent officials to operate the RAMIS: Help Desk / Support Team (Front-line support for endusers and customers. They handle incoming inquiries, troubleshootcommon issues, and provide basic technical assistance)

System Administrators / Network Engineers responsible for managing and maintaining the IT infrastructure will have to be recruited, the committee observed.

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