COLOMBO Oct 4 The Sri Lankan government plans
to impose heavy penalties for tax defaulters and expand tax
offices across the country as it aims to increase the tax base
by bringing to heel thousands of tax dodgers, Finance Minister
Ravi Karunanayake said on Monday.
The moves are expected to boost the island nation's tax
revenue, in line with a government commitment to meet part of a
condition set by the International Monetary Fund for a loan of
$1.5 billion it approved in May.
"If somebody try to hoodwink and get caught, they can be
subject to very heavy penalty," Karunanayake told a Foreign
Correspondents' Association (FCA) forum late on Monday in
He said the country has only around 650,000 tax files, where
as the number should be around 2 million to achieve the revenue
"One thing we don't want to do is taxing the people who are
already paying taxes. But we will be very strict with others."
(Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)