Govt. revenue collection short by $22 million, Parliament told

The Government's revenue projections for this financial year has fallen short by $22 million tala.

This was revealed in Parliament Monday by the Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, as discussions continue on the Government's proposed budget for the 2019/2020 financial year.

"The current financial year (2018) we were tasked to collected revenues in the amount of $528 million. However, additional appropriations was required and an additional $2 million was added. As of 17 June 2019, we have collected $507 million, we are short of $22 million," the Minister said.

“I was challenged by one M.P. to aim to collect revenue to the amount of $550 million before the end of the current Parliamentary term. And that dream is possible."

The Minister then revealed that their office is ready to roll out the tax invoice monitoring systems (T.I.M.S.).

They plan to hold consultations with the business community and members of the public next month.

T.I.M.S. is a web based monitoring tool — which would enable real time capture and monitoring of sales and advise the Revenue Office on the exact tax which should be collected — from each respective business.  

“This program will start in January 2020," he said. "This will assist the Revenue office to effectively collect taxes that is owed to the government.” 

Tialavea also announced that the cargo x-ray scanner for the main wharf will arrive next year, thanks to financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (A.D.B). 

According to the Minister, the Revenue office is also looking at CusLink, an online information service which provides comprehensive customs data. 

“We will look at installing this new system at the Customs Office.  This system is able to provide us information of all the goods on the container, before the container arrives in Samoa. 

“By the time the container arrives, our Customs Division already knows the products and tax the businesses accordingly.

"This will also assist the customs with their workload. 

“This is similar to the (green lane list) that we are using; however the difference is, we now know the contents of the goods."

Parliament continues.

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