Government to name and shame restaurants not paying their taxes
THE government has announced plans to name and shame those restaurants that are not paying their dues.
U Min Htut, director general of the Internal Revenue Department, said that restaurants found not paying their 5 percent commercial tax would find their details posted on the tax department’s website.
“The commercial tax of 5pc is the money the consumer is paying to the government via the restaurants,” he said. “And it is the restaurant’s duty to pay it back to the government in full.”
The government introduced a system of stickers in Yangon Region in 2014 in an effort to make local restaurants pay the commercial tax on the bill. A customer pays the tax and should receive a label posted to their receipt acknowledging payment. The labels, which come in a range of different denominations, are purchased from the Internal Revenue Department. However, authorities say that some restaurants are not providing the labels to the customer or are providing a value less than what the customer should receive.
Tax auditors, inspectors and customer complaints were being used to understand who was not paying their dues, U Min Htut said.
“If the restaurants are found to be failing to put a stamp on the receipt on for four consecutive occasions within a financial year, then the name of those restaurants will be posted on the website,” he said.
There were 262 restaurants that failed to follow the tax directive properly during the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year and they were fined K72 million, according to figures from Yangon Region Internal Revenue Department. So far this financial year there are 122 restaurants fined almost K36 million.
U Aung Kyaw Tint, division head at Yangon Region’s Internal Revenue department, told The Myanmar Times that a recent investigation by his department found that about 35pc of restaurants were abusing the system.
“If restaurants have failed to follow the proper direction without any strong reason, they will be fined,” he said. “The guilty are obvious.”
Meanwhile, consumers appear to remain oblivious to the system, unaware that their payment is not making its way to the state coffers.
“I know that we are paying tax to the government but I don’t usually ask for the receipt,” said Daw Thazin Soe, while making a purchase at JDonuts on Bo Aung Kyaw Street this week. “And I hardly ever check the value of the tax stamp value they put on it when I do get a receipt.”