T HE long-awaited draft law imposing income tax on the country's salary earners received the go-ahead from the Council of Ministers to be put before the National Assembly in the very near future, according to senior parliamentarians. The bill will become law if passed by the National Assembly.
The current Income Tax Law, a copy of which was obtained by the Post, imposes rates of taxation of 10 percent on monthly salaries of between $300 and $400, 15 percent on monthly earnings between $400 and $4,000, 20 percent on earnings between $4,000 and $8,000, and 30 percent on monthly earnings exceeding $8,000.
According to Articles 11 and 12 of the bill, every month when salaries are to be paid, subtraction of duties must be conducted in advance by employers and transferred to the local customs authorities no latter than the 15th day of the following month.
The bill, expected to be passed by the lawmakers since June, won approval from the Council of Ministers meeting on Sept 21.
Sok An, Minister of the Cabinet of the Council of Ministers, said the bill will be submitted to the Assembly in the very near future, possibly after Pjum Ben [Ancestors day on Oct 4].
But he added that it was up to the National Assembly's Permanent Standing Committee to decide when it is appropriate for the bill to be put before the house .
When asked by the Post about the agenda for the next parliamentary session to be held on Oct 11, Kann Man, a member of the Permanent Standing Committee, said the agenda did not include the income tax bill.
The aim of the income tax bill, according to the draft obtained by the Post, is to raise state revenues and also create a retirement and social welfare fund .
Kann Man said the country needed the income tax law to ease the financial difficulties of the Royal government but he added that the law should be implemented so as not to affect the living standards of government officials and members of the National Assembly.
His wish will be granted if the bill is passed by the Parliament without amendment: Article 4 of the draft law exempts from taxation the salaries paid to members of the National Assembly, government officials and the King.
Article 4 also exempts from taxation payments by employers to cover on the job expenses, redundancy pay and bonuses.