Income tax law amendments submitted with few details
IN a continued attempt to boost income tax revenue, the government has drawn up an amended bill and submitted it to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw yesterday.
U Maung Maung Win, deputy minister of planning and finance, offered no explanation of the benefits of the revisions when he submitted the bill to the hluttaw.
“The entire bill of amended income tax law is hereby submitted to the Union hluttaw to get approval on behalf of the Union government,” he told parliamentarians.
The bill itself did not include any explanation either. The Myanmar Times contacted some MPs for comment but they declined saying that they had not yet read the bill.
However, sheets distributed to MPs included 20 facts about the substitutes, omissions and additions in the draft law.
Currently, tax payers get writeoffs if they live with a spouse or children. The new amendments would expand that allowance to taxpayers who live together with any family members who can be considered a dependent, including a parent. Certain provisions impacting income coming from a salary, career job or goods would only impact income coming from career jobs, if the amendment were to pass.
It also includes language that would allow for the inspection of factories and industrial workplaces.
Inspectors would have the right to examine documents and records. They would have a right to stamp, mark, photograph, copy, or film the documents and records.
Union Parliament Speaker U Mann Win Khaing Than announced that the bill will be sent to the appropriate parties for review and that the public process will follow all of the laws and by-laws. He did not announce the date that the bill would be discussed.
The government has been trying to define and clarify the mercurial tax system. At the beginning of the month, MPs lobbied for an overall of the tax laws and method of collection, arguing for a decentralisation of the process.
Myanmar has what one 2015 Asian Development Bank working paper called “one of the lowest levels of tax yield in the world”, and the government expenditures typically exceed the collected income.