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Only 2.6% of workforce subjected to PAYE

Only 2.6% of workforce subjected to PAYE

09 Feb 2023 | By Imesh Ranasinghe

  • Siyambalapitiya says only 120,925 earn above Rs. 100K
  • Notes 2.2 million people make below Rs. 30K per month 

The pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax is charged from only 2.6% of Sri Lanka’s total workforce of 4.64 million, while the Treasury is struggling to obtain the Rs. 100 billion estimated revenue under the tax, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyabalapitiya said.

Speaking in an interview with TV Derana, he said that according to the latest statistics from the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), only 120,925 are receiving a salary above Rs. 100,000 out of the total workforce of 4.64 million.

He said that about 2.2 million or 48% of the total workforce receive a salary below Rs. 30,000. 

He added that according to some of the statistics from the DCS, 62,107 receive a salary between Rs. 100,000-150,000, 28,227 receive a salary above Rs. 150,000 to Rs 200,000, and 30,591 receive a salary above Rs. 200,000.

Furthermore, the State Minister estimates that there will be a loss of about Rs 1.5-2 billion in tax revenue via PAYE through the exemptions given on Wednesday for non-cash benefits of state employees.

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) revised the value of non-cash benefits from any residence provided by the employer to 12.5% of the salary, where the value of the benefit from the private use (partly) of any motor vehicle provided by the employer has been revised to Rs. 20,000 from Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 75,000 for vehicles with engine capacity over 1800 cc and below 1800 cc, respectively. For drivers and fuel allowances, the value has been revised to Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 20,000, respectively.


Moreover, for loans on concessionary interest rates, the amount of non-cash benefit would be 0% of the cost, while cost provision of electricity, gas, and medical benefits would have a non-cash benefit of 100%.

It also included 25% of the cost incurred by the employer for a payment when an employee is entitled to receive a payment for communication facilities under any circular, directive, or regulation, issued on that behalf by the Government, should be the value of the benefit to the employee of such payment.


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