Large taxpayer list to affect 130 firms

The Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) released the select list of companies which are to change to a self-assessment style of tax payment, Internal Revenue Department director U Zeya Kyi Nyunt said.

Some 130 companies out of the top 500 taxpayers are to change to the new system, including several of the most prominent firms in Myanmar such as banks, telecoms and airlines.

While many other countries differentiate between foreign investors, local firms and individuals, the LTO will handle all large taxpayers under one roof, according to U Zeya Kyi Nyunt.

The number of LTOs may also expand as more large firms are enrolled in the program. Before this change, Internal Revenue Department officials were assigned to assess each company, and insiders say the move to the new self-assessment system is a bid to boost revenue collection.

Firms included in the released list are KBZ Group, Myanmar Brewery, Htoo Group, Shangri-La, Max Myanmar, Co-Operative Bank, Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, Rothmans of Pall Mall Myanmar, as well as Myanmar Consolidated Media – the publisher of The Myanmar Times – and Eleven Media in the news sector. KBZ was the largest income tax payer in Myanmar in 2012-13, and Myanmar Brewery the largest commercial tax payer.

Between 600 and 700 of the estimated 20,000 Myanmar companies were considered for the program, but most were dropped before the list came out last week.

The redesigned tax returns will eliminate submission of financial statements and will reduce procedures for large taxpayers, as they will not need to visit the IRD throughout the year to meet their obligations, the statement making the announcement said.

“We will accurately calculate taxes without adding more to build trust between the IRD and its clients, and reduce time and costs as well,” said U Zeya Kyi Nyunt. “The important thing is that taxpayers need to make on-time payments.”

The Union Tax Law passed earlier this year places a penalty of 10pc on the tax amount for failure to pay, and 50pc for avoiding tax charges.


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