MYANMAR WITHHOLDING TAX UPDATE

Withholding Tax in Myanmar (“WHT”) has been reduced effective from 1 April 2017.

The Ministry of Planning and Finance issued Notification 2/2017 (“Notification 2”) on 10 January 2017 which will reduce a range of WHT payments.

The key changes are as follows:

  • Notification 2 provides that any person responsible for disbursing money must deduct WHT at the rates below:
Kind of payment

Residents

Non-residents

Interest payment for a loan or indebtedness or a transaction of a similar nature.

None (no change)
15% (no change)
Royalties for the use of licenses, trademarks, patent rights, etc.

10% (currently 15%)
15% (currently, 20%)
Payment for the purchase of goods, work performed or supply of services, and hiring arrangements within the country under a tender, contract, quotation or other modes.

2% (no change)
2.5% (currently 3.5%)


  • Notification 2 includes “hiring” or “hiring arrangements” in the scope of taxable transactions. Where previously unclear, it is confirmed that WHT applies to rental and lease payments.
  • Under Notification 2, the phrase “within the country” qualifies the sale of goods, provision of services and hiring agreements. This means that from 1 April 2017, goods sold abroad, services performed abroad and leases outside the country will no longer be subject to WHT. This differs from the previous position which had exempted goods sold outside the country, but made services rendered abroad liable to WHT.
  • Notification 2 provides that no WHT applies to payments in local currency of less than MMK 500,000 within a financial year.
  • WHT will not apply to; payments among government organizations, state-owned enterprises or interest payments made to branches of foreign banks.

Notification 2 reiterates that a person or entity disbursing money will not be excused from its obligation to deduct WHT for the simple reason that the payee refuses to accept payment with WHT deductions. Under the law, WHT tax must be reported within seven days from payment.

Should you need any advice on any legal or compliance matters, please contact benh@southasia-law.com



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