Myanmar tax dodgers warned with 10-year prison term

More than 60 businesses who are thought to be evading income tax were warned that they will face a maximum 10 year prison sentence if found guilty of evading taxes.

The customs department issued the warning on April 7, saying that the law will be enforced after an educational period.

“The country is facing tax evasion issue. It is the country with a lowest ratio of tax participant to GDP among ASEAN countries. So tax law and taxation system are being amended to collect more tax amount,” said Min Htut, director general of the customs department.

He continued that about 15,000 companies are filing and paying tax among a total of 30,000 companies registered in the country.

The authorities are planning an effective technique to collect more tax by setting a budget that requires a certain amount of collected tax to to go to wards and villages through the relevant state or regional authority.

Under the current quasi-civilian government, a tax amount of Ks 1.53 trillion (US$ 1.53 billion) was collected during the 2012 fiscal year and Ks 2.71 trillion (US$ 2.71 billion) for 2013.

A total of Ks 3.4 trillion (US$3.4 billion) is expected for the current fiscal year, according to pre-tax statistics, said Minister of Finance Win Shein.

The tax evasion will be charged under the current income tax law and commercial tax law. Section 48 of the income tax law and Section 23 under the commercial law describe how to deal with tax corruption.

The government formed the Tax Scrutiny Board last May to check that tax collection and fiscal responsibly meets international norms.

Previously a review was made on big businesses that were avoiding tax. The procedure was carried out under the existing taxation law. However, it is not clear whether the review will excuse influential businesses that are dodging tax in the next five years.

Source: Eleven Myanmar

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