- New law aimed at simplifying existing tax structure
- Creates new composite tax payable on specified goods and services
- New unit under Deputy Secretary to the Treasury to administer and collect Special GST
- Debate on Bill likely in February
Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday presented to Parliament the Special Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill aimed at simplifying the existing tax structure.
The Special GST will be the new composite tax payable on a number of specified goods and services, including liquor, cigarettes and vehicles (inclusive of parts for assembling of vehicles), telecommunications services, betting and gaming etc.
The rate of tax applicable, either ad valorem or specific, to the respective specified goods or services will be made by an Order of the Finance Minister, and will come into immediate effect with parliamentary approval required within three months after such an order comes into effect.
The Bill empowers the Finance Minister to exempt certain goods or services from the Special GST.
A Deputy Secretary to the Treasury will be assigned with the administration and collection of the Special GST under a special unit to be set up by the Secretary to the Treasury.
The Secretary to the Treasury will assign to the unit number of officers attached to the Ministry of Finance or any Department coming within the purview of the Ministry of Finance as may be deemed necessary.
Under the provisions of the Bill, the Special GST payable by a taxable person will be paid directly by the person, by way of an electronic fund transfer to an account opened and maintained in the name of the Designated Officer for the purposes of this Act. Such payment will be credited to the Consolidated Fund.
The debate on the Bill is likely next month. (CK)