Govt to issue revised tax brackets

Parliament is expected to announce new tax rates as early as next month in a bid to raise revenue from 3 to 4 percent of GDP to 4.5pc for the 2014-2015 fiscal year – and to more than 10pc in future years, officials said.

U Win Myint, a member of parliament’s Banks and Monetary Affairs Development Committee, said work was proceeding on revisions to the existing tax code as a revision proposal made on January 13 has already been discussed by the Finance Ministry and relevant parliamentary committee.

“We can directly discuss these reforms in the upper house and hope to publish [the changes] in February or May,” he said, adding that four kinds of taxes are being targeted: commercial, income, stamp duty and lottery tax.

Those taxes are handled by the finance ministry’s Internal Revenue Department (IRD).

“The new policy will be based on the idea that everyone should accept that widening the tax base is good for democracy,” said U Win Myint.

The ministry expects to raise an additional K2.2 trillion this year, according to the state-owned news media last year.

U Pe Myint, managing director of the Cooperative Bank, one of the highest income tax payers for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, said banks have gotten better at recording their transactions, making it easier for the IRD to levy taxes and trace evasion.

“We have to act transparently as we cannot conceal payments,” he said.

Participants in a taxation seminar last year suggested that the government should rely more on indirect taxes, such as value-added tax, to cut down a perception of corruption.

Source: Myanmar Times

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