UMFCCI members push for lower tax rates

BUSINESSES at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry have urged Nay Pyi Taw to lower the tax rate, while the Internal Revenue Department said the tax rate has been lowered on an annual basis.

Businesses collectively asked the tax rate to be reduced during the Chief Financial Officer conference (CFO conference), which was organised at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI) office on December 21. The conference was an avenue in which businessmen from different sectors discussed the draft tax law for 2018.

The executives and investors argued that the existing tax burden poses a considerable burden on businesses. The system on which the rebate for taxpayers is calculated causes difficulties, for one.

Meanwhile, the refunding process, as well as the pre-tax rate, were criticised as burdensome.

If the feedback and input from the private sector could be included in the drafting of the upcoming tax law for 2018, the business environment would be more business-friendly and attractive to investors. Hence, businesses will be able to develop and achieve more robust growth, U Ye Min Aung, vice chair of UMFCCI, said.

The tax system has been changed to low tax regime with the tax policy updated yearly, according to a statement of the Internal Revenue Department on December 3.

The Internal Revenue Department added that the government has reduced income tax, commercial tax, stamp duty tax and special tax on goods steadily since 2012.

Income tax for company has decreased from 30pc to 25pc; income tax for individuals has decreased from 2-30pc to 0-25pc; commercial tax has reduced from 0-25pc to 0-5pc; special tax on goods has been lowered from 8-100pc to 5-80 pc and stamp duty tax has dropped as well.

The department noted that the indirect tax rate of Myanmar is the lowest within the ASEAN bloc. It has an indirect tax rate of 5pc whereas other ASEAN countries have 6-12pc.

U Nay Lin Zin, joint secretary of Myanmar Rice Federation, commented that the administration needs to review and reform the tax rate in order to alleviate the tax burden on businesses.

Source: Myanmar Times

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