The Institute of Chartered Accountants has requested the President agree to a Zoom session to discuss crucial issues relating to the new tax policy of the government.

The CA has pointed out that the tax burden has created room for misinterpretation and that it could result in civil unrest and possible tax evasion, leading to lower-than-expected tax revenue for the government.

The President of the Institute of Charted Accountants Sanjaya Bandara in a letter to the President has said

“We are certain that your government has a rational plan under your leadership; however, this has not been effectively communicated to the stakeholders.” Lack of communication and a high tax burden has created room for misinterpretation and could result in civil unrest and possible tax evasion, leading to lower-than-expected tax revenue for the government.

Therefore, our main intention as the national body of accountants is to request your good office to give reasonable trust to the general public in the effective use of tax revenue, support the government’s actions to reduce government expenditure and use tax revenue in an effective way where returns can be gained in the long term. As such, it is vital to communicate the benefits and the future tax burden reduction.

Therefore, to fulfil this objective, we would be most grateful to you if you would agree to a Zoom session organised by CA Sri Lanka on a date and time convenient to you, to provide our stakeholders, including members of the public, with in-depth information on the government’s vision and how it hopes to ensure a reduction of expenditure and enhanced transparency.

The increased personal income taxes have been particularly palpable, as evidenced by reduced take-home pay. This has become a pressing issue for many white-collar employees, particularly considering high inflation levels and higher interest rates. The combined effect of these factors has led to a substantial decrease in disposable income and will likely have a significant impact on various industries, including financial services.

Additionally, we have observed a migration of young professionals out of the country. While international exposure and the opportunity to accumulate wealth can be beneficial for young professionals, the departure of even experienced professionals is causing a significant knowledge gap. This trend is likely to result in a critical shortage of human resources and a lack of necessary expertise to drive the sustainable growth and development of our nation.

We believe that the government’s recent tax policy change was not accompanied by an adequate communication strategy. Our stakeholders are also of the opinion that the taxes were increased without a corresponding plan to reduce government expenditures.

The full text of the letter is annexed here >>

LETTER TO PRESIDENT (Ranil Wickremesinghe) invitation for a zoom session 2023 (1)


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