IRD withdraws temporary VAT numbers



The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has decided to withdraw the facility of providing temporary VAT (Value-Added Tax) numbers for imports for commercial purposes in view of the misuse of the system.

The move follows revelations that some businessmen, including those involved in the import of commodity items, were misusing the facility by obtaining temporary numbers under different names.

IRD Commissioner General Sepalika Chandrasekara told the Sunday Times that the measure had been taken in view of the revenue losses to the government from the abuse of the system.

She said revelations had been made that even porters employed in Pettah and shop assistants had obtained temporary VAT numbers and evaded tax payments.

She said that necessary amendments would be presented in Parliament shortly.

However, temporary VAT numbers will be issued for imports by the government.

Until the amendments are approved for imports of medicines too, temporary VAT numbers will be issued, she said.

Ms. Chandrasekara said those holding temporary VAT numbers were being registered for permanent VAT numbers, and already 6,000 had been registered.

A Treasury official said that with the new system, they hope to increase tax revenue.

He said that with the new amendments, there would also be strict controls on the import of items.

The official said they were estimating the losses suffered due to the temporary VAT number.

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by has not been edited by SLM staff) 


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