Sri Lanka tax revenues up 25.6-pct up t April 2017

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tax revenues rose 25.6 percent to 554.2 billion rupees in the first four months of 2017 from a year earlier, helped by value added taxes, though excise revenues fell amid sharp hikes in tobacco and alcohol levies, official data shows.

Taxes were short of ambitious targets set for the first four months of 576.5 billion rupees, but actual revenues were very sharply up from a year earlier on key categories, amid reforms in administration and value added tax.

Net value added taxes after refunds rose 91 percent to 152.3 billion rupees. The current administration ended many exemption to value added tax including alcohol and tobacco and hiked the rate to a single 15 percent rate which makes administration easy.

Value added tax on domestic products jumped 88.6 percent to 96.811 billion rupees, revenues from nation building tax, a non-recoverable turnover tax rose 55 percent to 16.6 billion rupees.

Import taxes rose 22.5 percent to 277.9 billion rupees with customs falling 2.2 percent to 47,392 billion rupees but value added taxes on imports rising 95.1 percent to 55.75 billion rupees.

Pay-as-you-earn PAYE tax rose 24.9 percent to 12.2 billion rupees, indicating that salaries of wage earners have risen or more people were in formal employment or both.

Excise duties rose 4.9 percent to 155 billion rupees helped by taxes on petrol and higher imports of diesel.

Excise taxes from cigarettes and tobacco fell 17.1 percent to 23.8 billion rupees as volumes fell from sharp tax and price hike.

Excise taxes from alcohol also fell 9.3 percent to 38.2 billion rupees following drop in legal alcohol demand after a tax hike.

However the excise tax numbers do not reflect the total revenue collection from tobacco and alcohol on which VAT was re-imposed.





In tobacco separate data showed that total revenues including VAT rose from a year earlier in the March 2017 quarter, despite a fall in total sales.


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