Sunday, August 20, 2017

Annual list of top taxpayers shows payments rising

Companies paid more tax in the fiscal year 2015 than in the previous year, according to the latest annual figures published in state media, with the highest revenues coming from import-export businesses and the banking industry.

Source: Internal Revenue Department. Click image to expandSource: Internal Revenue Department. Click image to expand

The Internal Revenue Department (IRD) established a Large Taxpayer Office in 2014 and has since publicly announced the names of companies that make the highest payments to the state.

An awards ceremony for top taxpayers, held annually since 2011, is widely seen as a good method of generating national income and promoting responsible business. An accompanying glossy publication congratulates the winners.

This year, Denko Trading which operates fuel stations around the country, paid the most in commercial tax, while Kanbawza Bank was the top income tax payer of the year.

One of the country’s largest corporations, military-owned Union of Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL) joined the top five commercial and income tax payers for the first time, as did its subsidiary Myawaddy Bank. Its trading arm, Myawaddy Trading, came fourth on the top income tax payers list.

This year, Denko Trading and Kanbawza Bank each paid the state more than K20 billion, trumping last year’s highest payment of more than K17 billion in income tax and more than K10 billion in commercial tax.

“The government has not offered tax exemptions to military corporations for the past three years. UMEHL has many subsidiaries and their participation helps us to collect higher revenues,” said an IRD director in Yangon.

He said tax rules will be stricter in the coming fiscal year under the new government. “Citizens will no longer be able to easily get away with doing business or buying things without paying regular taxes. They will have to pay, even if they want to buy a car,” he said.

Most of the companies in the top taxpayers list are under the purview of the Large Taxpayer Office, which has a registry of around 500 large companies and conglomerates, while several are under the Companies Circle Tax Office.