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Sri Lanka govt puts off withdrawal of SVAT system

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s main business chamber has praised a government decision to retain an existing paperless value-added tax refund scheme until a proposed electronic tax administration is fully operational.

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said it welcomes the decision by the Ministry of Finance to postpone the abolition of the SVAT (Simplified Value-Added Tax)  system that was due to come into effect on 1st April 2017.

The move followed joint submissions made by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Joint Apparel Association Forum, Exporters Association of Sri Lanka, The Lanka Fruit and Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters Association, National Chamber of Exporters, National Chamber of Commerce and Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council.

The Ceylon Chamber said in a statement that it was particularly thankful to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for his intervention in the matter and for “actively engaging with the business community”.

Previously, the SVAT system was to be abolished on 1 January 2017 as announced in Budget 2017, but was postponed to 1 April 2017 subsequent to meetings the private sector had with the Prime Minster in early January.

The Ceylon Chamber, together with other private sector stakeholders, made strong submissions to government to maintain the current SVAT system until a robust VAT refund mechanism is put in place, it said.
(COLOMBO, March 30, 2017)

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