Yangon to tighten enforcement on tax stickers

The government will take action against those popular restaurants which do not affix commercial tax stamps properly,Yangon Region Minister for Planning and Finance U Myint Thaung said on February 20 at the regional legislature. Some retail stores, department stores and restaurants charge a 5 percent consumer tax fom customers. But nobody knows whether the 5 percent extracted is submitted to the government.

“As we know, businessmen are collecting the tax from the public. But we don’t know how much money we need to pay as tax upon the original price. We are being taxed according to the wishes of the businesses. The public wants to know that the shopping malls, department stores and restaurants are giving these taxes to the government and the government is using taxpayers’ money carefully for the good of the public,” said MP Daw Yin Yin Myint from Ahlone township.

The MP added that the government should educate the public extensively how the tax rate and tax system works.

According to the Internal Revenue Department, there were five applicable tax: income tax, commercial tax, special trade tax, stamp duty, special goods tax and lottery tax.

“The famous restaurants or shops in shopping centers and markets need to put the stamps which is equal with 5 percent stamps. If they don’t put those stickers or are not putting the right value, everybody can complain to the nearest IRD office. If we find out that they do not follow the rules, we will fine them,” the regional finance minister said.

Businesses who fail to put the tax stamps on the sales bills to the customers have to pay a fine equivalent to 100 percent of the tax (on top of the unpaid tax). If they fail to pay the fine for the first time, the government will fine K200,000, K500,000 for the second time and K1 million for the third time.

The regional minister added that the government will award those who report the non-compliant businesses but will protect their identity.

Businesses which are required to collect the tax by putting the stamps on the bills are restaurants, hotels, motels, inn, guest house and jewelry shops, among others. The government stated that businesses should submit the commercial tax within 10 days after the end of month. The government is launching an educational campaign to raise awareness of these issues through state-owned newspaper and TV programmes, he added.

Source: Myanmar Times

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