Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Sri Lanka: Transfer Tax for Long-Term Land Leases to Foreigners

(Feb. 14, 2011) Sri Lanka's Cabinet recently approved a plan to tax long-term leases of land to foreigners. The proposal came from Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of the country, who has been acting as the Finance Minister since 2005. The change will take the form of an amendment of the Finance Act (Act No. 11, 1963). (Sri Lanka Imposes Taxes on Leases of Land to Non-Citizens, COLOMBOPAGE (Feb. 11, 2011),; Ministry of Finance & Planning & the Treasury of Sri Lanka website, (last visited Feb. 14, 2011).)

At present, non-citizens who buy land pay a substantial transfer tax. The proposal will block the practice of foreigners taking long-term leases in lieu of purchasing land, to avoid the tax payment. The measure will allow the government to take in revenue it would lose under the current law. (COLOMBOPAGE, supra.)