Sri Lanka Institute of Taxation marks twenty fifth anniversary | Daily News

Sri Lanka Institute of Taxation marks twenty fifth anniversary

J.N. Telly Fernando (Treasurer), H.M. Premaratne Banda (President), T.P. Ranwatte (Vice President),  V. Rameshkumar (Secretary), Council Members - P.R.C.  Gamage, D.A.K. Gangodawilage, S. Balaratnam,  M.G.G. Thakshila, D. Karunasekara, M. Melvin H. Peiris, Dr. J.A.S. Felix, D.L.B.C. Perera.
J.N. Telly Fernando (Treasurer), H.M. Premaratne Banda (President), T.P. Ranwatte (Vice President), V. Rameshkumar (Secretary), Council Members - P.R.C. Gamage, D.A.K. Gangodawilage, S. Balaratnam, M.G.G. Thakshila, D. Karunasekara, M. Melvin H. Peiris

The twenty fifth anniversary of the Sri Lanka Institute of Taxation falls in 2017 and during the two-and-half decades the Institute has come a long way in promoting awareness of the subject of taxation in Sri Lanka.

Today taxation has become not only a complicated subject but an indispensable part and parcel of economic activity in the country requiring a thorough knowledge of its legal contents and practical application.

Historically the Institute started modestly and was initially the brain child of a few former colleagues of the Inland Revenue Department particularly Anil Amarasekara. His close association when he was working Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with Inthiran Chelvathurai, then Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Tax Administrators (CATA) in London, as well as the British Institute of Taxation helped to initiate the project.

On June 22, 1992 he and a few other colleagues including Messrs. C.P.E. Gunasingam, M.S.M.T. Samarathunga, Y. Karunasinghe, A.C.S. Perera, S. Balaratnam and the late Messrs. D.C. Jayakuru, Stanley Fernando and A.C.S. Perera among others initiated the project and after much deliberation and effort succeeded in incorporating the Institute under the Companies Act No.17 of 1982, the certificate of incorporation being issued on October 28, 1992.

The first Council consisted of the above mentioned persons with A.B. Amarasekara as first President of the Institute.

Subsequently, after a lot of further effort they with the assistance of the late Minister Bernard Soysa and after his demise Weerasinghe de Silva MP, introduced the Incorporation Bill in Parliament and the Institute was incorporated under Act of Parliament No.21 of 2000 certified on June 19, 200.

The Institute has come a long way since then and has today become one of the leading institutions in the field of taxation in Sri Lanka. In fact it is the sole institution which deals primarily and exclusively in the field of taxation which is its main and only field of activity.


The objectives of the Institute can be

summarized as follows.

 To create awareness of the subject of taxation among the members of the public and to promote and advance the study of the law and practice of taxation and the principles of economic and political science in relation to taxation and public finance.

 To hold examinations and to grant certificates to persons who have satisfied the Examiners and the Council of the Institute as to their knowledge and ability in the subject of taxation.

 To promote and co-ordinate the dissemination of tax awareness and knowledge with the respective revenue authorities of Sri Lanka.

 To facilitate the exchange of information and views on taxation and the creation of a well informed public opinion on the subject.

 To provide opportunities for the acquisition and dissemination of useful information concerning taxation in Sri Lanka and other countries.

 To make recommendations for the improvement or simplification of tax law and practice, to highlight anomalies in laws relating to taxation and to comment on proposed changes in the laws.

In pursuit of these objectives the Institute has engaged in a number of activities. Primarily it conducts study courses for students of taxation at two levels;

 the Diploma level

 the Professional level

Both these study courses cover the following subjects together with a Case Study.


 Tax Administration

 Principles of Tax Law and Business Law

 Taxation of Individuals and Partnerships

 Value Added Tax and Nation Building Tax

 Taxation of Companies and other entities

 Computation of business profits

 International Taxation

 Tax Case Law and Back Duty

 Tax planning and Anti Avoidance provisions

 Accountancy


A few subject exemptions are available for those who are qualified in accountancy and law. Those who qualify at the Diploma level are admitted to the Professional level and those who are successful followed by an evaluation are awarded certificates and become members of the Institute.

There are basically two types of membership;

 Fellow Member (FTII)

 Associate Member (ATII).

Those who succeed in obtaining membership of the Institute have several professional advantages and avenues. They are officially recognized and are able to engage in professional practice of taxation and are recognized as authorized representatives under Section 217 of the Inland Revenue Act No. 10 of 2006 as well as under section 195 of the new Inland Revenue Act, No. 24 of 2017for the purpose of representation for taxpayers in the Inland Revenue Department.

Lectures at the Institute are conducted by trained and qualified professionals in taxation as well as high officials and past officials of the Inland Revenue Department versed in various fields such as accountancy, tax law, appeals, tax administration procedures and other relevant topics.

Apart from the Diploma and Professional study Courses, the Institute has stepped in to assist business, tax practitioners and tax payers to secure a knowledge of the practical day to day problems involving taxation by conducting short courses in such fields as VAT, Simplified VAT, Nation Building Tax (NBT).

Apart from issues in the practical fields of preparing tax returns, submission of tax returns online, conducting appeals, payments of taxes, penalties. These have proved to be extremely popular. Apart from the conducting of lectures, examinations and training tax professionals, the Institute has created public awareness in taxation by holding a number of seminars and workshops for the public on issues of current interest particularly during Budget time and amendments to various tax laws annually.

The Institute during the preparation of the government annual budget forwards its proposals to the Ministry of Finance on various aspects of taxation for consideration in the Budget.

The institute has also participated as institutional partners in international taxation seminars and conducted workshops in the training of foreign tax officials, one example, being the workshop on Tax Appeals conducted by the Institute for Maldivian Tax Tribunal officials in Colombo.

The Institute has also since its inception produced an annual Journal titled the “Sri Lanka Tax Review” containing numerous articles on relevant topics and current tax issues written by knowledgeable experts in their relevant fields. It also conducts upto date information on such matters as Double Tax Treaties, International Tax News, current Tax data and rates of tax and a Tax Bibliography among others. This has proved extremely useful for students, tax practitioners, academics and taxpayers alike.

The Institute has the potential and capacity to provide assistance in a number of other ways as well. A body like the Institute could focus attention on a wider scope and perspective in relation to fiscal policy and administration at a macro level as well as provide expertise both technical and legal on such matters at a micro level.

The Institute could also provide advice and assistance to the tax administration and the government in making periodic assessment on the functioning and impact on the tax structure to facilitate revenue collection and streamline the tax administration.

From another perspective, the Institute provides a much needed forum for public discussion and the airing of views and grievances of the taxpaying public in relation to fiscal matters in general and specific measures in respect of policy and administrative regulations and procedures impinging on the public.

The Institute thus provides the public and interested socio-economic groups to put forward their views and proposals on fiscal matters in a systematic, methodical and scientific manner which the authorities could take cognizance of.

In marking the 25th anniversary therefore, the Institute of Taxation of Sri Lanka holds great promise for the future with a wide range of activities before it for the benefit of the public. It has also the necessary talent and expertise to fulfill these expectations.

The Institute is currently located at Galle Road, Dehiwala and it also operates a website where information of its activities and facilities are available or on email [email protected]

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