Myanmar, or Burma, is a resource-rich country in Southeast Asia. Its income tax laws are simple and straightforward, covering only two pages in the Burmese Internal Revenue Code. As of 2009, according to the CIA, the GNP per capita stands at £715. Roughly 33 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line as of 2009.
The Burmese income tax was passed in 1974. From that point on, the income tax has covered state-controlled enterprises, cooperative societies (such as agricultural societies), foreign investment, personal salaries, foreigners (those in the service of a foreign firm, for example), nonresident citizen earnings and all partnerships with the above. Because Burma is a highly unstable country seemingly endlessly at war with its ethnic minority groups, taxes can be hard to collect. Therefore, the code was made as simple as possible.
For corporations, a general flat rate on all gross income is 35 per cent. For an individual, the basic rate is 20 per cent on all gross income, though there are rate reductions for individuals in extreme poverty. For nonresident citizens working for firms abroad, this rate is doubled to 40 per cent.
If a foreign national is working on a state-financed project in Burma, the income tax rate is 20 per cent flat. Nonresident foreigners must pay a capital gain on Burmese based projects of 40 per cent, while resident citizens only have to pay 10 per cent on capital gains. Benefits for any worker in Burma, citizen or not, is converted into a fixed per cent of a worker's salary. For example, if a worker is given free lodging on a project, this is considered roughly 10 per cent of income and taxed separately. The government has a complex table of how benefits are taxed.
There are no exemptions for corporations, but there are for individuals. If a Burmese man works but his wife does not, the man is given an allowance of 5,000 kyats monthly, which comes to £497 of nontaxable income, as of May 2010. This can be combined with child allowances. For each child under 5 years of age, the allowance per month is 1,000 kyats, which comes to £99. Children between 5 and 10 years of age get an allowance of 1,200 kyats each, or £119.3. For children between 10 and 15, the exemption is 1,600 kyats, or £159.1. Children between 15 and 18 receive an allowance of 2000 kyats per month, or £198.
The rich are taxed at a flat rate of 30 per cent if making more than 500,001 kyats per year ($76,508). But this can be combined with professional income (other than salaries) at 35 per cent on all income exceeding 2 million kyats ($306,032).
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