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Retired IRD boss opens up tax advice shop

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A group of retired officials of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has launched a consultancy service to help several tax payers they made friends with while still working at IRD to further reduce the tax amount to be paid ultimately depriving the country of a considerable amount in tax revenue, Sri Lanka Mirror learnt.

The consultancy service has been launched by IRD official N.M.M. Mifly retired on July 21.

After retiring from the IRD, he started a tax consultancy service called MIFA in Bambalapitiya.

Mifly has sent detailed messages and e-mails to several taxpayers who are close friends about his new tax consultancy firm.

More focus on money launderers

It was reported that Mifly, while in the IRD, has handled the duties of tax policy formulation and international taxation.

It was also revealed that he has taken the lead in collecting a 1% small tax for undisclosed incomes according to the tax reforms introduced in 2021.

IRD trade union sources said that businessmen who benefitted from the tax exemption to launder black money were able to carry out their work easily with Mifly’s support.

Though it is necessary to inform the tax officials about the taxpayers who have disclosed their income in order to execute tax audits efficiently in the coming years, it was reported Mifly and the current Commissioner General have not released the necessary information so far.  

A trade union leader told us that Mifly, who was hoping to open up a tax consultancy firm after retirement, has issued a circular for internal tax audits to IRD officials through the Commissioner General in favour of these moves.

Due to this circular, the tax audit process which has been conducted so far according to the Act has been disrupted and a conflict has been created between the upper administration and the lower officials.

Rukdevi misses out on Oscar due to overacting

Meanwhile, it was reported that an officer named Rukdevi Fernando who was vying for Mifly’s post has pretended to explain the circular to the officials in a hurry on the day of Mifly’s retirement, in order to get rid of the issues she may have to face in the future. However, she had not been able to provide proper answers to the officials regarding the circular.

Internal sources said that due to this document, tax audit activities have been hampered and that it would make an impact on the overall tax revenue of the country.

It was rumoured that IRD Commissioner General Ranjith Hapuarachchi, who is about to retire in a few days, is also willing to join ‘MIFA’.

Commenting on this, a former IRD Commissioner General said that it is not ethical for the retiring officers to work together with the taxpayers externally.

Accordingly, he said that a retired officer should be prevented from engaging in work-related matters at least for three years upon retirement.

He also said that such situations should be rectified immediately in order to create a transparent tax system and to increase the confidence of the taxpayer.

BIZ

Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar

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Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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University applications open tomorrow 

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that online applications for university admissions for the academic year 2023/2024 will open tomorrow (14 June).

Applications will be available from 6 am tomorrow at www.ugc.ac.lk
The application deadline is 5 July 2024. 

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