New Tax file opening IR officials threatened
Call for Presidential intervention
Officials of the Department of Inland Revenue last week accused certain government politicians of interfering with their duties, a matter which they have since informed of to President Maithripala Sirisena requesting intervention.
According to the officials, several incidents have been reported from various regional offices island-wide, most prominently in the Ratnapura District office of the Department where a ruling party Provincial Councilor had on several occasions demanded both in person and via phone calls that the business community in the area not be asked to open tax files. It must be noted that the officials working past duty hours were acting on a governmental directive and a departmental decision to increase the opening of tax files.
The aim of this is to find those who do not pay taxes and those who pay taxes yet do not pay taxes for and on all their taxable sources of income but only on certain taxable incomes.
The officials noted that Departmental officers in regional offices were at present engaged in working after office hours, going to the field to source those who fall into the aforementioned categories including those in the business community, create awareness among them of the need to pay taxes, and institute proceedings to open tax files. Tax returns must be filed annually by November 30.
Secretary of the Inland Revenue Employees General Union, Ajith Galhena said that they were awaiting a response from the President on the issue.
Galhena further said that they had also brought the matter to the notice of Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake but said no action was taken regarding the matter.