Companies not registered on T.I.M.S. warned
The Ministry of Customs and Revenue has put on notice 37 local firms that have made no attempts to get themselves registered on the Government’s Tax Invoice Monitoring System.
Compliance under the Tax Administration (Tax Invoice Monitoring System) Regulations 2020 requires a business to have an Electronic Fiscal Device System (E.F.D.), an accredited point of sale software and E-S.D.C. [External Sales Data Controllers] plus a smart card reader issued by the Ministry upon enrolment and registration.
The initiative enables the Ministry to track and cross-check whether or not taxpayers are paying their taxes in full and "levelling the playing field", the Minister of Revenue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt has reiterated.
A business is only able to ask for an extension if the taxpayer has completed the enrollment process and submitted supporting documents, confirming that the delay is due to the vendor's inability to set up their E.F.D. or has legitimate problems with obtaining the necessary hardware needed for the setup.
The Farmer Joe Supermarket chain is among businesses that have asked for an extension of their compliance deadline.
According to Farmer Joe Supermarket Manager, AJ Cowley, they sought an extension due to the absence of vendors to install the system and train their staff.
"Farmer Joe did ask for an extension as it became clear with the new roll out of our new [point of sale] overhaul for [all] our sites, without the vendors being here to run training and install in person due to current environment; we knew this would take a little longer than usual circumstances," he said.
And while Mr Cowley acknowledged the challenges that came with setting up the new tax system, he praised the Government for the initiative and emphasised that they fully supported it. "From a Farmer Joe perspective, we are happy with the current T.I.M.S. protocols being put in place as we believe this will ensure a more level playing field," he added. "We understand there will be some teething issues at the start but the overall aim of this project is a good one for Samoa.
"We fully support M.O.R. in the steps they are taking towards moving our industry in a new more structured phase, and strongly believe that this model – if monitored well and consistently – will lead to a more sufficient and effective system for the public sector and private sector."
Consequently, Mr Cowley encouraged supermarkets and retail stores to become fully compliant by the end of 2020, saying that it would not only create a competitive environment but a “levelled playing field also.”
Under the Tax Administration (Tax Invoice Monitoring System) Regulations 2020, should a taxpayer fail to install an E.F.D. for the business and ensure each P.O.S. and E-S.D.C. of the E.F.D. is accredited, he or she commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine depending on the taxpayer's business turnover or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.