Finance Ministry Plans Overhaul of Tax Identification System in Response to Implementation Challenges”

The Finance Ministry is set to make several amendments to the recently introduced tax system, which requires all citizens above 18 to obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) for tax payments. This decision comes in response to complaints from officials at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) who faced practical challenges in implementing the existing system.

Before the changes, the system had not been strictly enforced, according to State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. He explained that an estimated Rs 2.5 billion would be required for the system’s implementation, as the IRD needed to notify TIN holders by post officially. Additionally, there was a shortage of human resources to implement.

To address the resource shortage, Minister Siyambalapitiya proposed hiring undergraduates temporarily with a daily allowance of Rs 1,500 to expedite the process. Temporary recruits, including senior officials and office assistants, would also be enlisted.

Minister Siyambalapitiya stated that Cabinet approval would be sought for the proposed changes to the system. Meanwhile, the Inland Revenue Service Union secretary, H.A.L. Udayasiri, advocated for a one-year delay in making the system compulsory, citing the Finance Ministry’s failure to provide necessary facilities for implementation.

Udayasiri highlighted the current system’s requirement for two levels of approval for TIN issuance, leading to delays. He emphasized the need for system integration with databases from the Registration of Persons Department, Motor Traffic Department, and banks.

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