Monday, December 4, 2023

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CoPA urges IRD to ensure proper government receipt of public-paid VAT

Colombo (LNW): The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) during a session of the Committee on Public Accounts (CoPA) faced inquiries regarding the proper receipt of Value Added Tax (VAT) from the public for various goods.

Currently, around 13,000 institutions are registered for VAT, and IRD officials are actively investigating the compliance of these institutions in remitting the relevant taxes to the government.

The committee emphasised that there is a need for institutions collecting VAT to establish a system ensuring accurate tax remittance to the government.

This discussion took place on November 15 during the CoPA meeting in Parliament, chaired by State Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna.

The session aimed to scrutinise the Auditor General’s reports and assess the Inland Revenue Department’s performance for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The committee inquired about the feasibility of the Inland Revenue Department taking over and maintaining the RAMIS computer system. However, IRD officials cited a shortage of human resources as a hindrance to assuming control of the system.

It was disclosed in the committee that six institutes are already linked to the RAMIS computer system, but the Department of the Registrar of Companies is facing delays in connecting due to technical reasons.

The committee recommended an immediate upgrade of the Registrar of Companies’ system and integration with the RAMIS system, with a progress report due before January 1, 2023.

The chairman instructed the provision of a comprehensive report on tax classifications and the arrears amounting to Rs. 943 billion to be collected.

Regarding new taxpayer registrations, officials reported that approximately 198,253 new taxpayers have been registered in 2023.

The Inland Revenue Department highlighted ongoing efforts to include the identified 16 million citizens over the age of 18 in tax payment programs.

The meeting, attended by State Ministers and Members of Parliament, addressed key issues related to tax administration and system upgrades within the Inland Revenue Department.

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