Casinos owe big sums in taxes to the IRD | Print Version

By Bandula Sirimanna


Starved for tax revenue, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is going after tax evaders owing billions of rupees to the state with casinos backed by two of Sri Lanka’s most powerful and influential businessmen, being among the evaders.

According to the evader’s list compiled by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Bally’s Casino Colombo owned by Bally’s Company Ltd has defaulted taxes amounting to Rs.575 million. However the company has agreed to make a part payment in settling a court case recently.

Marina Colombo owned by Rank Entertainment Holdings Company Ltd has evaded a sum of Rs. 760 million, IRD data showed. It has also made part payment promising to settle the full amount soon, according to the list.  Of the two casinos, one is owned by Ravi Wijeratne while the other was formerly owned by Dhammika Perera but currently registered under the name of his brother Anuradha Perera.

To strengthen tax revenue collection from casinos, the Government will soon amend Sri Lanka’s Betting and Gaming tax law to provide more teeth to the IRD to crack down on casinos which are evading the payment of taxes making use loopholes in the existing law, Finance Ministry sources said.

Meanwhile the majority of tax avoidance has been identified in the 15 per cent direct tax payers including the corporate sector, a senior official of the IRD said.

The government has foregone a massive amount of over Rs.515.15 billion during the past six years due to tax avoidance by several companies and the department is still continuing the recovery process and legal procedures against those tax evaders.

“These tax evaders were making use of loop holes in taxes specially, regulations, taxation complexity, weakness in tax administration as well as official collection procedures and corruption,” Chairman of the Inland Revenue Commissioners Association and Senior Commissioner Sarath Abeyratne told the Business Times.

While the majority of the tax officers are well qualified, experienced and honest persons, there are few officials allegedly involved in malpractices, he said.

He added that allegations of corruption against the department could be minimised by giving official protection to whistle blowers and eliminating the involvement of tax consultants by simplifying taxes and official procedures.

The IRD expects to embark on a range of tax administration measures to strengthen revenue mobilisation through digitalisation while ensuring improvements in tax compliance, and risk-based tax audits.

Mandatory payment of taxes by an electronic tax filing system is expected to expand to the non-corporate sector which will improve efficiency and reduce opportunities for corruption.

Leveraging technology such as electronic registration facilities and electronic payments will provide a platform for revenue collecting agencies. has you covered with quality used or brand new cars for sale that are budget friendly yet reliable! Now is the time to sell your old ride for something more attractive to today’s modern automotive market demands. Browse through our selection of affordable options now on before deciding on what will work best for you!