Two committees to settle Inland Revenue - taxpayer disputes | Sunday Observer

Two committees to settle Inland Revenue - taxpayer disputes

Following the recent appointment of the Commissioner General to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), the Ministry of Finance has appointed two special committees comprising retired judges to resolve disputes between the department and taxpayers on tax estimates, the Sunday Observer learns.

As the former Commissioner General of IRD retired on September 11,2018, the Commissioner General’s post fell vacant and an acting Commissioner General was overseeing the department. This led to many difficulties in the operations of the department including a huge backlog of remitting taxpayer money to the General Treasury. It was reported that more than Rs. 50 billion was jammed in the pipeline as a considerable number of taxpayers had appealed against tax estimates prepared by the IRD. In this scenario, there was no permanent Commissioner General appointed by the government who had the power to appoint committees to look into tax payer disputes.

The newly appointed Commissioner General of IRD, Nadun Guruge told the Sunday Observer that appeal hearings will be expedited as two committees have already been appointed. “These two committees appointed by the Ministry of Finance will resolve these appeals soon. Earlier, there was only one committee. With two committees we can expedite those appeal hearings,” he said.

The Commissioner General also said that he has set a target of Rs. 1 trillion tax revenue with a new strategy.

“My top priority is government revenue. There are some issues within the department including promotions and I will rectify those matters immediately. I must create a better environment for my officers to perform their duty,” he said.

In 2018, the IRD had achieved Rs. 650 bn goal in tax revenue where the Minister of Finance has set a fresh goal of Rs 850 bn of tax revenue in 2019.

Guruge said, “Now we are within the targets. In the first quarter of the year, we earned around Rs. 160 million tax revenue. But the Minister and I have planned to hit the Rs. one trillion target this year. I will do my best to achieve it with the support of our dedicated officers”.

General Secretary of IRD staff officers’ union, A.T. Chandana told the Sunday Observer that the IRD’s operations are going smoothly with the appointment of a Commissioner General.

Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunge was not available for comment as he was abroad at the time.