T.I.M.S. second wave arrives
The second group of businesses to transition to the new real time tax invoice monitoring system (T.I.M.S.) has been given a compliance deadline by the Ministry of Customs and Revenue.
Group one consisted of over 200 businesses that were given four months to ensure they are compliant by 1 July.
Some major chains are facing significant costs to make the transfer and have requested extensions.
T.I.M.S is an initiative by the Government of Samoa through the Ministry of Customs and Revenue to increase tax compliance and consequently reduce hidden economy and tax evasion.
The newly introduced system will help businesses easily compile and provide records of the tax revenue they must send to the Government
Each transaction involving the sale of goods or services will be accounted for in realtime and sent to the Ministry.
Implementation of T.I.M.S. will be rolled out in five phases. The latest group will have until 1 October to comply.
The T.I.M.S. may require software installation to businesses' existing point of sales devices to become compliant or some will require extra investment in new hardware.
There is a free mobile based version provided by the Government but many retailers say it does not meet their needs in terms of the scale of transactions that must be processed.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, out of the 117 responses to their T.I.M.S. survey, 52 businesses or 44 per cent of the respondents reported that their business does not currently have a Point of Sale (P.O.S.) software.
Consequently, they manually generate invoices through the use of receipts, cashbooks, and Excel.
The Chamber survey revealed that while other businesses have one station or counter for their point of sales devices (P.O.S.); another 70 per cent have multiple, meaning some businesses will spend more in order to comply with T.I.M.S. requirements.
Additional hardware for businesses will vary but costs for a new point of sales device can run up to $10,000.
According to the survey, a total of 22 per cent of the businesses reported having received a quote for the work required to achieve compliance with the legislation ranging from $2,000 to $400,000 tala.
"The three most prominent responses were in regards to financial constraint, lack of training, and insufficient timeframe given current business conditions," the Chamber survey reads.
"Close to 40 per cent of businesses are unable to implement T.I.M.S. within the current timeframe due to financial constraints. The financial costs incurred to comply with T.I.M.S. will be felt more severely amongst small to medium enterprises."
Upon the first week of the first group's requirement to meet compliance on 1 July, the Ministry warned 37 businesses that had made no arrempt to transfer over to the new system.