Tax & Revenue

Commercial Tax on Mobile Handsets to be levied

Date: 02 April 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Myanmar Times

Consumers will have to pay a 5 percent commercial tax when buying mobile handsets and related accessories from June 1 onwards, the Internal Revenue Department (IRD) announced on April 1.

The taxes will be levied based on the total sales value of the purchase and collected by the vendor. Consumers will receive a stamped voucher to indicate that commercial taxes have been paid on their merchandise.

The IRD has already levied commercial taxes of 5pc on spending in restaurants, hotels and on broadcasting as it raises efforts to raise tax revenues. A 1pc commercial tax was levied on gold shops last year.

U Ko Ko Aung, chief executive of LuGyiMin Mobile Shop, said the additional amount in taxes might deter consumers from purchasing mobile phones, which is already “a very expensive product for many.”

“We have a duty to follow the rules set by the government and we have started notifying our customers about the 5pc tax. On the other hand, shops that follow the rules will be at a disadvantage against shops that do not collect the tax to compete,” he said.

Other vendors added that the government should also make simultaneous efforts to curb illegal handset sales even as it enforces stricter tax regulations.

Meanwhile, the IRD has released samples of commercial tax stamps of between K50 and K10,000 for mobile phones and accessories.

Between October 2018 and February 2019, over K800 billion in income taxes and K700 billion in commercial taxes were collected, according to IRD.

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