The publics’ suggestions and complaints about the 2014 Union Tax Law are being collected by the Ministry of Finance in a bid to strengthen further taxation legislation, said U Tin Tun Naing, director of the ministry’s Internal Revenue Department.
The law was promulgated in March with the aim of increasing government tax revenues.
Officials had collected opinions from stakeholders such as business associations before submitting the law to parliament, but still aim to improve the rules, he said.
“We can say we made it fair for the public for the best of our ability. But if you [the public] think there are improper rules, please feel free to express where it needs to be amended,” said U Tin Tun Naing.
Complaints about the law can be submitted to the parliament through MPs or through anti-red tape organisations being formed by the President’s Office.
“The era in which government officials exploited those who didn’t have enough knowledge and information [is over],” he said. “It is our responsibility to grow awareness among the public about the tax law.”
Experts welcomed attempts to include more public feedback when drafting taxation legislation, but cautioned it must be pragmatic.
“Even if the public can express their complaints freely, if it is not effective it’s not good for the public,” said independent economist U Hla Maung.
The previous government paid little attention to tax as they generated plenty of money from selling resources such as oil, gas, timber and gems, he said.
Myanmar Fishery Federation vice chair U Hnin Oo said law taxes must be in keeping with the country’s situation.
“We appreciate attempts to welcome the publics’ input for tax laws,” he said. “But taxes must affordable for the public, particularly for SMEs who are struggling to survive. If not it will hit the country’s economy.”
Source: Myanmar Times