Burma doubles tax target

Burma doubles tax target

The Ministry of Finance will attempt to raise nearly five trillion kyat (US$5 billion) in taxes in the 2014-15 financial year.

The 2014 Union Taxation Bill, introduced to parliament last week, took the figure raised in 2012-13 — 2.7 trillion kyat (US$2.7 billion) — and almost doubled it.

The bill, drafted by the Ministry of Finance and submitted to the bicameral Union Parliament on 25 February, specified a plan to levy tax under four categories and projecting to generate 1.6 trillion kyat (US$1.6 billion) from income tax alone.

Burma has a progressive tax system in which nationals are liable to pay a personal tax rate of to 20 percent of their employment income and 30 percent on other earnings.

Currently, Burma’s taxation rate is the lowest in Southeast Asia as a percentage of GDP. Tax accounts for less than four percent of the nation’s spending power.

Thaung Lwin, chairman of the Board of Scrutinising and Monitoring of Tax Collection, voiced criticism to parliament of the government and the legislative body’s failure in their responsibility collect sufficient tax proceeds.

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