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3000-plus accounts owe taxes

The Ministry for Revenue has over 3000 accounts that owe the Government unpaid taxes. 

This was revealed by the Audit Office in a report to Members of Parliament, covering the financial year 2011-2012. 

However, the audit report did not state what was the total amount of unpaid taxes, and whether the tax evaders were individuals, organisations or even private companies. 

But the Ministry of Revenue (M.O.R.), in response to the concerns highlighted, indicated that their recovery action is being undertaken by two designated recovery officers.

“In turn, the planning and execution of our recovery plan is now based on priority and collectability including cost efficient and effective ways for the Ministry,” the M.O.R. stated in response.

The imported goods included two Toyota Hilux, Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Ranger Double Cab and Nissan Navara. 

“As part of the debt recovery plan, demand letter was issued to debtor on 5 October 2012 as well as site visits conducted by recovery officers during November 2012.” 

Furthermore, the auditors noted that there were several cases where 50 per cent of taxes owed was deferred and approved by the Minister of Revenue.

According to the auditors report, evidence of follow up action exists through the Customs arrears recovery plan of both unpaid debts and deferred debts. 

For the Financial year 2012-2013, the auditors uncovered a number of weaknesses in the system for unpaid declarations. 

According to the audit report, total unpaid declaration is indeed increasing but the revenue services and legal and technical services divisions are ensuring follow up action. 

Also there was poor record keeping for invoices. 

Another issue highlighted by the audit report was the number of missing documents in personal files. 

But the M.O.R. in response said the management will ensure that responsible staff update personal files in a timely manner. 

Record keeping and filing across all divisions of the Ministry will also be closely observed by the senior management team.

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