Myanmar

Overview

Last reviewed - 22 January 2020

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (or more commonly known as Myanmar) has an area of 676,578 square kilometres, making it the second largest country in Southeast Asia. It shares borders with Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, and Thailand. Naypyidaw is the capital of Myanmar, and Yangon, as the former capital, is the country’s most important commercial centre.

International sanctions against Myanmar had been imposed over a long period of time. On 30 March 2011, the new Union Government, which is a partly civilian parliamentary government, came into power and embarked on a series of sweeping changes and reforms. These reforms, as well as the conduct of the 1 April 2011 by-elections, have led to widespread praise from the international community and immediate actions to ease the sanctions regime against the country to support its transition to democracy and its economic development. The United States (US) lifted the US dollar (USD) economic sanctions on Myanmar in October 2016.

The official language and primary medium of instruction of Myanmar is Myanmar (the same name as the country). The people are referred to as the Myanmar people or also Myanmar. The Myanmar consists of various ethnic groups, broadly consisting of Burmese (65%), Shan (6.4%), Karen (5.2%), Kachin (1.8%), Chin (1.6%), Mon (1.5%), and Rakhine (1.5%). English is also spoken in cities like Yangon and Mandalay in the north, particularly by the educated urban elite, and is the second language learned in government schools.

Myanmar’s official currency is the Myanmar kyat (MMK).

Myanmar’s economy is supported by abundant natural resources and commodities. Its largest export is natural gas, which is providing an increasingly important revenue stream.

The World Bank estimates that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) will expand by 6.7% in 2018, followed by an annual growth rate of 6.9% for the next two years. The most productive segments of the economy are currently the extractive industries, in particular oil and gas, mining, and timber. Other areas, such as manufacturing and tourism, which represent a small share of economic activity, are largely accounted for by state industries. Foreign direct investment (FDI) was largely channelled into telecommunications, oil and gas, and manufacturing.

Government policy makers taking office in April 2016 have committed to continuing reform, which is necessary if Myanmar is to achieve its growth potential. The new administration is expected to press for more transparency and deregulation, less red tape, improved education and training, and more effective and efficient government services.

The relaxing of foreign exchange controls is expected to propel imports upward and contribute to a widening of the current account deficit. Easing of economic sanctions imposed on Myanmar by industrial countries should lead to higher levels of trade and investment, as well as the resumption of assistance and concessionary financing, both from these countries and from international financial institutions.

Myanmar has an economic and trade agreement with Turkey and economic agreements with China, Cuba, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Singapore. It also has trade agreements with Bangladesh, China, India, Israel, Korea (Republic of), Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Myanmar is a member of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), a signatory to the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS), and a party to the Framework Agreement on the ASEAN Investment Area (AIA). The AFTA provides for a particular schedule on duty reduction/exemption among ASEAN members (i.e. ASEAN Trade In Goods Agreement). As a member of ASEAN, Myanmar is a party to the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, the ASEAN-Korea Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation, the ASEAN-Japan Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the ASEAN-India Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Agreement, and a free trade agreement between ASEAN and Australia and New Zealand. Negotiations for an EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement commenced in May 2007.

While the Myanmar government has good economic relations with neighbours, such as China and Thailand, significant improvements in the business and political climate and economic governance will be required to attract serious, long-term investment, particularly from western economies.

PwC offers a full suite of business services in Myanmar, including:

  • Mergers and acquisitions advisory.
  • Capital projects and infrastructure advisory.
  • Market entry advisory and market studies.
  • Risks advisory.
  • Taxation, customs, and excise duties advisory.
  • Human resources advisory and international assignment services.
  • Accounting, incorporation, and corporate secretarial services.
  • Anti-corruption and corporate restructuring.
  • Business and technology consulting services.
  • Initial public offer and capital market services.
  • Corporate governance and risk advisory services.

Quick rates and dates

Corporate income tax (CIT) rates
Headline CIT rate (%)

25

Corporate income tax (CIT) due dates
CIT return due date

Within three months from the end of the financial year.

CIT final payment due date

Under the TAL 2019 (effective from 1st October 2019), the date for settling the final tax liability is within 30 days of the notice issued by the IRD. If the taxpayer does not pay tax due within 30 days of the notice, the taxpayer will be regarded as a defaulter.

CIT estimated payment due dates

Advance payments are made in quarterly instalments.

Personal income tax (PIT) rates
Headline PIT rate (%)

25

Personal income tax (PIT) due dates
PIT return due date

Within three months from the end of the income year.

PIT final payment due date

Within 30 days from the date of notice issued by the IRD.

PIT estimated payment due dates

Employment income: 7 days from the pay day;

Capital gains tax: 30 days from the transaction date;

Other income: Quarterly

Value-added tax (VAT) rates
Standard VAT rate (%)

There is no VAT in Myanmar. The indirect tax in Myanmar is commercial tax, with the general rate of 5%.

Withholding tax (WHT) rates
WHT rates (%) (Div/Int/Roy)

Resident: 0 / 0 / 10;

Non-resident: 0 / 15 / 15

Capital gains tax (CGT) rates
Corporate capital gains tax rate (%)

10% for non-oil and gas sector;

40% to 50% for oil and gas sector

Individual capital gains tax rate (%)

10

Net wealth/worth tax rates
Headline net wealth/worth tax rate (%)

NA

Inheritance and gift tax rates
Inheritance tax rate (%)

NA

Gift tax rate (%)

NA

NA stands for Not Applicable (i.e. the territory does not have the indicated tax or requirement)

NP stands for Not Provided (i.e. the information is not currently provided in this chart)

All information in this chart is up to date as of the 'Last reviewed' date on the corresponding territory Overview page. This chart has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this chart without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this chart, and, to the extent permitted by law, PwC does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this chart or for any decision based on it.