Revenue’s Compliance Plan aims for fair tax system

By Staff Writer ,

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AVALISA VIALI-FAUTUA'ALII: The C.E.O of the Ministry for Revenue is unveiling a Compliance Improvement Plan in order to reach tax targets set by the Ministry of Finance.

AVALISA VIALI-FAUTUA'ALII: The C.E.O of the Ministry for Revenue is unveiling a Compliance Improvement Plan in order to reach tax targets set by the Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry for Revenue launches its ‘Compliance Improvement Plan 2016 – 2018’ today at 10am. 

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry for Revenue - Avalisa Viali-Fautua'alii will deliver the keynote address to the invited guests who include representatives from the Samoa Institute of Accountants, Chamber of Commerce, Customs Agents, Government ministries and the private sector. 

The Compliance Plan 2016-2018 sets out major strategic risks that the Ministry for Revenue will put its priority focus on over the next two years. 

It includes the management of risks across the Ministryand builds on the 2012 -14 Compliance Improvement plan which was developed to address risks in Inland Revenue. 

The new CIP 2016-18 was developed by the Senior Management Team (SMT) of the Ministry for Revenue in late 2015 together with the assistance of a consultant from Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre ('PFTAC'). This was endorsed and approved by the SMT in November 2015. 

The public launch of this plan is to raise the awareness of the public on the strategies employed by the Ministry to improve compliance across Customs and Inland Revenue. 

It is not a secret document. 

If the Ministry's customers are aware of the strategies and the reasons why such strategies are designed, then they will understand and play their part in doing the right thing. 

The CIP 2016 -18 brings together a strategy and descriptions of the most significant compliance risks identified in the customs and tax system and sets out in broad detail how the Ministry intends to respond or treat those risks. 

There is also a much broader message around compliance - it’s about getting taxpayers to pay their fair share and contribute to nation building. 

The Ministry’s Compliance Improvement Plan 2016-2018 is a strategy that has absorbed a lot of energy, understanding and commitment. 

A tremendous amount of work has gone into segmentation of the tax base, data mining and analytics that has identified main risks. 

The tax system needs to be seen as fair – and it cannot be fair if those who are evading their taxes are getting away with it – that’s why risk analysis is fast becoming a big tax administration priority. 

This Plan reflects the Ministry for Revenue’s ongoing focus on continuous improvement to improve operations and achieve high levels of performance.  

This Plan provides a balanced approach– and promoting voluntary compliance has become a big priority that needs to be continually improved. This can be achieved by programs that heavily emphasise the need to comply and the consequences of not complying. It’s about providing customers with information, education, making it easy for them and also more importantly providing them with a good legal framework. 

The success of the plan is not dependent on the Ministry alone, but relies heavily on taxpayers to do the right thing, and pay their tax on time and to also pay the correct amount. The Ministry highlights the important role of accountants and tax agents as an extension of services - to advise clients of their obligations under the tax laws. Customs agents and freight stations are equally important in their roles to make sure that facilitation of trade is continually improved and not an impediment to businesses, and also to ensure that Samoa’s border is protected against illicit and restricted goods and undesirable travellers. 

Achieving the outcomes set out in the Plan will improve compliance and consequently improve revenue collection and a safer border for Samoa.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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