Business tax crackdown proposed

A proposed new bill would bring businesses' tax affairs under new scrutiny with the creation of an electronic system for monitoring the income they report to Government. 

The new taxation bill has been tabled before Parliament.

It has been referred to a Parliamentary Committee for further deliberation after its first reading was approved in the legislature last month. 

According to an attached explanatory memorandum, the Bill will empower the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to implement new systems for electronic monitoring, to verify data and make new regulations.

In July last year, the Minister for Customs and Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, first revealed his plans for a new tax invoice monitoring system.

The bill says the Head of State may, on the advice of Cabinet, make regulations prescribing matters that are required for the implementation of electronic systems established under the law.

The scope of those regulations extends to procedures and guidelines for data verification and creating new offences and penalties for failing to comply with terms and conditions imposed by the Inland Revenue Service of Samoa. 

The new tax monitoring system is expected to be rolled out in five phases.

The Ministry says that there will be public consultations and public advertising about the initiative in the lead-up to its launch.

Tialavea has said the new tax monitoring system is a web-based monitoring tool, which would enable real time capture and monitoring of sales data, alerting the Revenue Office to how much tax should be collected from businesses. 

The Minister said the programme is aimed only at increasing the Government's receipts of outstanding taxation bills.




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