Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva says the government will not allow the Employees’ Provident Fund to be affected by the Surcharge Tax Bill.
Speaking in Parliament today Opposition Parliamentarian Hesha Withanage questioned if there is a threat to the EPF from the Surcharge Tax Bill.
In response the Labour Minister said the Minister of Finance assured the Cabinet of Ministers that the Surcharge Tax will not be levied on the EPF.
Minister de Silva said the Surcharge Tax Bill was challenged before the Supreme Court adding the government will present necessary amendments to safeguard the EPF when the bill is tabled in Parliament.
Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva meanwhile said while the Employees’ Provident Fund Act states no tax can be imposed on the EPF, taxes have been imposed on the fund for several years.
He added the government imposed a tax of 14% on the EPF last year, and questioned the government on what steps will be taken regarding the imposition of unlawful taxes.
Minister Bandula Gunawardana in response said the income tax was levied on the EPF over several years adding legal action will have to be sought to determine its legality.
MP de Silva said however Parliament approval must be sought to impose a tax on the EPF, adding they cannot continue to impose taxes as it is the practice.
Minister Gunawardana said the former good governance government is responsible for including the EPF under the definition of a company.
MP de Silva said if the government wanted to exclude the EPF from the Surcharge Tax it could’ve used the definition from the 2007 Companies Act for the Gazette, and called for the Gazette to be reversed and issued again with amendments.