The Kanbawza Bank has been declared the highest payer of income tax in Burma for the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to a list of the top 500 taxpayers in the country released by the Ministry of Finance and Revenue.
Chaired by Aung Ko Win, Kanbawza Bank’s has more than 2,000 employees and its main source of revenue is from its transfer and loan services.
Myanmar Brewery Ltd was the highest contributor to the country’s coffers in terms of commercial tax, according to the report.
Min Htut, director-general of the Ministry of Finance and Revenue, said Kanbawza Bank earned over 10 billion kyat (US$10 million) last fiscal year with tax levied at 25 percent on net profits.
He noted that, according to regulations laid down by the Internal Revenue Department, private companies should pay 25 percent of their total net profits in tax; however private firms netting over 30 million kyat profit are liable to pay 30 percent tax.
The department previously announced a list of the top 100 tax payers for 2011-12. Min Htut said the increase in the listing of various firms’ tax responsibilities would allow for greater transparency and facilitate smoother international cooperation.
“Announcing the top taxpayers signifies greater transparency – it allows international business groups to look up the credentials and the amount of tax paid by the companies they are interested in making joint-ventures with,” said Min Htut. “And it will encourage domestic companies to follow tax regulations.”
He said the ministry is also looking to review the current tax laws with assistance from international banking experts.
The top 10 companies on the list were (in order): Kanbawza Bank; Myanmar Brewery Co Ltd; Int’l Beverages Trading Company Ltd; Myanmar CP Livestock Company Ltd; Shwetaung Development Co Ltd; Cooperative Bank Ltd; Max Myanmar Construction Group; Dagon Beverages Co Ltd; Black Gold Co Ltd; and Asia World Co Ltd.
On 28 August, Kanbawza announced the opening of its 120th branch, located at Naung Cho in Shan state. It has been awarded the “Best Commercial Bank in Myanmar” and “Best Banking Group in Myanmar” awards for year 2013.
However, comparing Kanbawsa’s net profits to many international banks puts matters into perspective; while Kanbawza declared US$10 million in total net profits, UK-based Barclay’s Bank declared US$1.65 billion and JPMorgan Chase Bank in the USA declared US$857 million in net income.
Japan’s largest bank, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, which in January announced a partnership with Burma’s Cooperative Bank, announced last year a net income of some US$10 billion. However, it was this year fined US$250,000 million by the state of New York for illicit laundering transactions with countries under sanctions, including Burma.