Endeavours needed for tax reform

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  • The 2018 Union Tax bill was based on the 2017 Union Tax Law and was drafted to fit the current economic conditions of the country, according to an official of the Ministry of Planning and Finance.
    It is of vital importance to adopt systematic tax systems which can be develop the country’s economy into a driving force.
    Therefore, concerted efforts should be made to create relevant laws to prevent tax evasion and try to make taxpayers follow the rules and regulations of the country.
    According to the Internal Revenue Department, there are different kinds of taxes and duties — income tax, commercial tax, excise duty, customs duty, State lottery tax, stamp duty, land revenue, embankment tax and so on.
    The Profit Tax Law, which was enacted in line with the socialist economic system, was revoked with Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 1 in 2011. The Internal Revenue Department has been collecting four kinds of taxes and duties, namely income tax, commercial tax, stamp duty and State lottery tax, since the 2011-12 fiscal year.
    The Union tax law is applied to money and assets both in and outside the country which were legally obtained. Both citizens and foreigners in the country are obliged to pay a 3 per cent tax for the first six months, and 5 per cent for the next six months.
    But some people avoid taxes in a number of ways, including reporting artificially low prices, importing different goods to those on their license applications or illegally transporting goods. Some traders even evade taxes by smuggling goods along the border.
    It is important how to adopt reasonable tax measures, and how to streamline tax payments, which will be helpful for tax law.
    The ministry has found many different discrepancies between documents and goods, including the model, the country of origin, the number or the type, all in a bid to avoid taxes.
    In other countries, authorities try to reduce the tax rate when the country’s economy faces a decline. A poor taxation system may lead to more tax evasion. Therefore, effective and sustainable attempts are needed.
    With the aim of increasing the country’s productivity, the tax system should be agreeable to both the government and taxpayers so that the government can make the tax collection system more effective, while the citizens of the country ought to pay their taxes as dutiful citizens.
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