Sri Lanka parliament could delay debate on value added tax hike

Sri Lanka’s parliament could delay a debate on value added tax scheduled for July 20, State Minister for Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene has said in the wake of a new case being filed in Supreme Court on tax hikes.

Minister Abeywardene told a weekly Sri Lanka Freedom Party briefing that a four-member committee would submit proposals to President Maithripala Sirisena suggesting changes to value added tax.

The government was earlier expecting to wrap up the debate by end July.

The Supreme Court had already suspended a May 02 increase in VAT and a cut in Nation Building Tax.

Sri Lanka’s Director General of Inland Revenue in a notice said in a notice to tax payers dated July 12, that notices issued on April 29 on VAT and NDB was suspended by Supreme Court on July 11 with "immediate effect."

Another tax payer had meanwhile gone to court complaining of high proportionate taxes on telecommunications.

Abeywardene said traders can no longer charge the higher VAT.

However under Sri Lanka’s bizarre VAT law, ordinary consumers are not issue a VAT invoice.

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