The Chamber of Commerce held its monthly members meeting at the Tanoa Tusitala Conference Center on Monday. The meeting was made possible with the kind assistance and sponsorship of the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.) office in Samoa.
The Ministry for Revenue was invited to clarify some of the issues that the Chamber members have on new tax initiatives and some of the services that the Ministry provides for businesses.
Sia’ana Ioane, A.C.E.O. for Taxpayer Services and Esther Alalatoa, Senior Taxpayer Officer, addressed the members and clarified some of the misunderstanding and confusion around the new Samoa Electronic Tax system and the different interpretation of legislations.
From the Ministry’s perspective, the new Samoa Electronic Tax system enables an efficient process to better serve the needs of their clients.
However, the members still advised that they were being penalized and are still receiving notices of late payments even though they have paid already.
The new V.A.G.S.T. threshold from $78,000 to $120,000 was also highlighted by the Revenue team, something which some of the membership felt was news to them.
It was felt that the Ministry’s community awareness and outreach programmes needed to be focused and targeted to the business community through umbrella organizations such as the Chamber for effective results.
Tomasi Peni, of I.L.O., presented on the mission for the I.L.O. office in Samoa and its ongoing partnership with the Chamber; providing technical assistance in terms of capacity building.
I.L.O. has continuously worked with its tripartite partners in Samoa such as the Chamber of Commerce (employer) and others like M.C.I.L. (government) and Samoa Workers’ Congress (employees).
The ongoing commitment to the tripartite is reflected through the establishment of the Samoa National Tripartite Forum in which meetings are held on a regular basis to maintain mutual understanding by employers, employees and government on matters of social protection and labour.
Two new members were introduced and they were Comptech Samoa and Gardenia Hinano.
The Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc. as the National Private Sector Organisation (N.P.S.O.) is funded by the Pacific Leadership Program (P.L.P.).