Local authorities demand extra taxes

Jan 21, 2008 (DVB), Small traders in Twan Tay township, Rangoon division, have complained that local officials have been imposing additional taxes on them which they should not have to pay.

Grocery store owners in the township said that tax administration officials have been demanding they pay an extra trading tax that should only apply to wholesalers on top of the standard sales tax.

One store owner said that current regulations did not require small businesses to pay the additional tax.

"According to tax law, you are only supposed to pay the trading tax if you are a wholesaler dealing in large quantities of goods," the store owner said.

The store owner said that he knew another business owner who refused to pay the tax and suffered harassment by the authorities.

"In the end, he told the tax administration officials that they could sue him if they wanted to and then they backed off," he said.

Another shop owner said that the tax was an added burden on businesses that are already suffering.

"The prices for basic commodities are getting high and the shops are not doing very good business, so these extra taxes are making our lives difficult," he said.

"Some business owners do not even realise that they're not really supposed to pay the trading tax."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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