Smart Card readers to strengthen tax collection

The Ministry of Customs and Revenue has moved to strengthen the collection of taxes from small businesses on a daily basis by purchasing Smart Card Readers. 

The project – which is part of a new system called the Tax Information Management System (T.I.M.S.) – aims to raise tax-payer compliance through the use of technology to monitor taxation at the cashier. 

In the recently approved supplementary budget for $2019/2020, a sum of $10,000 was allocated to purchase the smart card readers for the quick and efficient transfer of data used by T.I.M.S. 

The $10,000 is a portion of a total $211,706 expenditure for the Ministry of Customs and Revenue (M.C.R.) in the supplementary budget. 

Other expenses include $44,906 for additional staff and $36,348 for office furniture. A total of $100,000 has also been earmarked for a standby generator for the K9 Unit in Tuanaimato. 

According to the Finance and Expenditure Committee report for the supplementary budget, the additional staff will be required to oversee the tax monitoring system. 

“A total of $36,358 estimated for needed assets for staff to implement this program,” the report stated. 

“This program will enforce the collection of taxes from daily purchases, which every business and companies must be registered to, according to provisions of the Tax Administration Act 2019.” 

The Committee noted that the $10,000 estimate for the procurement of Smart Card readers is to link the Ministry to information recorded by small businesses. 

The K9 Unit which also comes under M.C.R. has been allocated $100,000 to purchase a standby generator to be stationed at the K9 Unit at Tuanaimato as a backup system for the Ministry. 

“The purpose is for when any emergency arises at the office at Matautu and D.B.S. (Development Bank of Samoa) information are well kept at a separate location.”

In terms of revenue for the M.C.R., an additional revenue of $539,120 is estimated within the remaining 6 months of 2019/2020 from Government Ministries and Corporations for VAGST. 

The Finance Committee had questioned the Ministry if the targeted revenue of $535 million is still achievable in 2019/2020. 

In response M.C.R. said the $281 million has been collected as of 31 December 2019. 

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