IMF refutes reports on its advice to digital service tax in Sri Lanka

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has not discussed any plans for a digital services tax with the Sri Lankan authorities in the current program.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the global lender further clarified that it has not provided any recommendation on whether or not Sri Lanka should sign on to the OECD/G20 inclusive framework agreement for international corporate taxation.

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)/G20 inclusive framework on BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) over 135 countries and jurisdictions are collaborating on the implementation of 15 measures to tackle tax avoidance, improve the coherence of international tax rules and ensure a more transparent tax environment.

The IMF statement came in response to some recent media reports and queries regarding its advice to digital service tax in Sri Lanka.

Revenue mobilization is a key pillar of the IMF program with Sri Lanka, the spokesperson said further, adding that as part of the upcoming first review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program currently scheduled in September, the global lender plans to discuss with the authorities how best to mobilize additional revenues.

This could include considering the benefits and challenges with introducing a digital service tax.

The IMF said it would work with the authorities to put in place reforms that are in the best interest of Sri Lanka and its people.