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Sri Lanka Supreme Court delivers blow to income tax law

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has determined that several provisions of a new income tax law is inconsistent with the constitution, speaker has informed parliament.

Some provisions would require a referendum and others a two thirds majority to pass in parliament, the speaker said.

The Inland Revenue bill is aimed at a radical overhaul of Sri Lanka income tax code, and is part of an International Monetary Fund program to boost revenues.

The IMF approved the last tranche after the bill was presented to parliament.

Under Sri Lanka’s lawmaking process, bills presented to parliament can be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Sri Lanka’s finance ministry has been consulting with business chambers and other stakeholders and some changes were to be made at the committee stage of the debate. However the Supreme Court ruling will require changes or representing of the bill.

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