May Thu 2022

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How to get your Tax Identification Number in Sri Lanka

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You have your business idea, your company is registered, and now, you’re trying to figure out how to get a Tax Identification Number in Sri Lanka for your company. 

You’re just a few steps away from running a fully functional business! We’ll take you through the process, and by the end of this blog, you’ll be equipped to get your Tax Identification Number in Sri Lanka.

What is a TIN number?

A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is issued by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of Sri Lanka to register your business as a taxpayer. It is used to keep track of its taxpayers and optimise the process of tax compliance.

Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to obtain a TIN number for your business.

How to get a TIN number?

Here’s a step by step guide on how to obtain your Tax Identification Number in Sri Lanka:

Step 01: Collect the right documents to submit

First, obtain the appropriate application form from the Taxpayer Services Unit​ (TPSU) at the IRD Head Office or download it here. Depending on the type of business you’ve registered as you may require different additional documentation:

For Individuals (Sole Proprietorships)
  • Application form 
  • NIC for Sri Lankans and a valid passport for foreign nationals
  • Business Registration Certification 
  • Utility Bill / Statement of Bank Account or Pass Book / Grama Niladhari Certificate (if the address is different from NIC). For foreigners, local address proof is required.
For Partnerships
  • Application Form
  • Partnership Registration Certification
  • All partners require a National Identity Card (NIC) for Sri Lankans or a valid passport for foreign nationals
For Registered Companies (Private Limited, Company Limited by Guarantee, Foreign Company, Limited)
  • Application form 
  • Company, Unlimited Companies, Offshore Companies
  • Certificate of Incorporation (Form 2A/2D/42/41 etc.)
  • Form 01, Form 05, Form 40, certified by Registrar of Companies
  • All Form 20s, certified by the Registrar of Companies
  • All directors must have a National Identity Card (NIC) for Sri Lankans or a valid passport if they are foreign nationals.
  • Form 13, certified by the Registrar of Companies (if applicable)
  • Form 18, certified by the Registrar of Companies, if Form 20 is obtained to recognize the director’s signature
  • Articles of Association
  • The registration certificate issued by the Board of Investment and the relevant agreement
For Other Entities (For Joint Venture / Project)
  • Application Form
  • Letter of request by the head of the institution
  • National Identity Card (NIC) for Sri Lankans or a valid passport for foreign nationals, as well as the signatory’s letter of appointment
  • Minutes of the AGM / Executive Report (if applicable)
  • Registration certificate
  • Confirmation of the branch issued by the head office (For Branches only)
  • Act/Gazette for the establishment (For Government & Semi-Government Institutions only)
  • Joint Venture agreement and copies of TIN certificates of the partners (For Joint Ventures only)
  • Power of attorney for the signatory (For Joint Ventures and Foreign Companies if applicable)
  • Project agreement and cabinet approval etc. (For Projects only)
  • Trust deed and NIC (Sri Lankans) or Valid Passport (Foreign Nationals) of the Trustees (For Trusts)

Remember: You must have photocopies of all your documents along with the originals.

Useful links:

http://www.ird.gov.lk/en/Shared%20Documents/TPR_Guidelines_1.1_E.pdf

http://www.ird.gov.lk/en/Shared%20Documents/TPR_Guidelines_E.pdf

Step 02: Submit your documents to the IRD

Now that you’ve gathered all the essential documentation to apply, the next step would be to decide on a mode to obtain your TIN certificate. There are three ways to obtain your TIN number:

  • Online  
  • Offline
  • By Post

Let’s take a deeper look at how you can register for your Taxpayer Identification Number through each method.

Online

Have you figured out which type of business you’re going to register as? 

We’ve got you covered either way!

Corporate Taxpayer (Company/Partnership/Joint Venture)

Here’s how you can register as a corporate taxpayer.

Go to the IRD Sri Lanka website and select your preferred language. On the main menu under e-Services, click on ‘access to e-Services’ and select ‘Click on Taxpayer Registration: To register as a Taxpayer and obtain your TIN’.

 Under Registration Type, select ‘Registered Company’

A detailed form will appear below (see the below image for example). Fill in all the necessary details of your business, including selecting your preferred language and mode of communication for when the IRD contacts you.

Be prepared with details regarding your parent company (if any), your director’s information (reference numbers like TIN numbers, NIC or Passport details), and registered address.

The next step is to upload all your supporting documents. You will have to make sure you have soft copies of all your documents.

Under ‘Document Type’, select ‘Supporting Documents’. You will then have to select the type of documents and proceed with uploading them accordingly. 

Thereafter, add the purpose of your registration.

And finally, the declaration form, where you have to add in your name, designation, and contact number before submitting the form.

You will then see an acknowledgement/successful submission form on your screen. Be sure to print it out and take note of the acknowledgement number on the form.

And, that’s it! In five working days, you will receive an email with your TIN number.

Individual Taxpayer (Sole Proprietorship)

As an individual taxpayer, you will go through a similar process to that of registering as a corporate taxpayer.

Under Registration Type, select ‘Individual Local’.

A detailed form will appear below (see the below image for example). Fill in all your personal details, like full name, date of birth, gender, nationality, and country of birth. 

Thereafter, fill in your permanent address, residential address, contact details, bank information, and family information (civil status and spouses/children’s details).

Finally, coming to a section titled ‘Individual Business’, select ‘Add Business’. Fill in the following details on the form:

  • Name of your business
  • Registration number
  • The principal activity of the business
  • Date of commencement of business 
  • Confirm if the business is registered with the Board of Investment (BOI)
  • If it is your primary business
  • Address of your business.

And, remember to press the ‘save’ button to store all your details.

The next steps are similar to registering as a corporate taxpayer. Upload all your supporting documents, fill in the purpose of your registration, and the declaration form.

You will then see an acknowledgement/successful submission form on your screen. Print it out and take note of the acknowledgement number on the form.

Offline

Visit the TPSU at the IRD Head Office and collect a registration form from the officer in charge. Fill in the required details, and submit them, along with your supporting documents. Given that all your details are accurate and your documents are valid, they will issue the TIN number to you immediately. 

Note: The IRD Head Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday – Friday).

By Post

Obtain a registration form from the nearest IRD office or download it here. Fill in the form, attach all your supporting documents, and mail it to the below address,

Commissioner General
Inland Revenue Department
Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha,
Colombo 02

You will receive your TIN Certificate by post in a matter of a few working days. 

Step 03: Who can submit these documents?

This would apply to offline/in-person registration, and the rules vary depending on the type of business:

  • For a sole proprietorship, the owner must submit it 
  • For a partnership, one of the owners must submit it 
  • For a company, a director must submit it

In the scenario where someone is submitting a document on behalf of the said individual, a formal letter of authority must be submitted.

And, there you go, that’s it. If you follow these steps, you should be able to obtain your TIN number in a matter of days.

Help us, help you!

Still, have more questions about obtaining your TIN number? Reach out to us!

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Useful links: http://www.ird.gov.lk/en/eServices/Lists/Registration/Attachments/1/TIN%20Registration%20v0%2011.pdf

Obtain your TIN number with Simplebooks

Now, you should have a pretty good idea of how to obtain a TIN number in Sri Lanka. Make sure your documents are in order, you have all the necessary details for your forms, and most of all, make sure your business is registered before applying for a TIN number.

If you need help registering your business, this is something Simplebooks can do for you! 

If you’re still confused or have more questions and need some assistance. You can simply sign up for a free consultation with us and we’ll help you out!

FAQs

How can I get my TIN number online in Sri Lanka?

The process of getting a TIN number online in Sri Lanka is pretty simple. Head over to IRD Sri Lanka’s website. On the main menu under e-Services, click on ‘access to e-Services’ and select ‘Click on Taxpayer Registration: To register as a Taxpayer and obtain your TIN’.

Where will I find my Tax Identification Number?

Depending on the mode of application you have selected, your TIN number will be issued to you immediately (in person), by email (online), or by postal mail. 

Does Sri Lanka issue Tax Identification Numbers?

Yes, you can get your TIN number in Sri Lanka from the TPSU at the IRD Head Office.

What is the format of Sri Lanka’s Tax Identification Number?

A TIN number in Sri Lanka is a nine-digit number that will be on the top left corner of the TIN certificate issued by the IRD Sri Lanka.

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