Commissioner denies report, says no more T.I.M.S. postponement
The Commissioner for the Ministry of Customs and Revenue, Matafeo Avalisa Viali-Fautuaali'i, has dismissed claims the Government has moved to “postpone” the implementation of the new tax invoice monitoring system (T.I.M.S.).
“No further postponement been discussed or issued," Matafeo said in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
"As said in the notice, that is the final time extensions for every one in each Group."
Matafeo was referring to a public notice issued in September giving an extension for businesses to comply with the new real-time accounting system. The opportunity was granted following many requests for extension from the business community.
But the Commissioner said there would be “no further time extensions.”
T.I.M.S is an initiative of the Ministry of Customs and Revenue (M.C.R.) to increase tax compliance and crack down on the hidden economy and tax evasion.
Original plans for a phased introduction of the new requirements for businesses to employ new computer monitoring systems would have required several to become compliant by this year.
Businesses were grouped into five lots, according to their revenue status, each with a different intended deadline for the adoption of the new accounting system.
The more than 200 group one businesses - which included business with sales exceeding $1 million - had originally been required to comply with the new system by 1 July of this year. That date has now been extended until 1 January 2021.
(Certain businesses had already been granted exemptions from the deadline on a case-by-case basis).
Similarly, the second group slated to introduce the new accounting system had been scheduled to begin using the system on 1 October of this year. Their new deadline is 1 April 2021.
The third group, which had previously been expected to be in compliance by New Year’s Day, will now have until 1 July next year to implement the new system.
Groups four and five are now expected to commence using the new real-time monitoring system by 1 October 2021 and 1 January 2022 respectively.
Group five is composed of small businesses such as corner shops.
“Please kindly note that these are our [final] time extensions for every taxpayer in each Group [to which you have been] assigned [to] by the Commissioner,” the statement said.
Matafeo suggested all businesses register for the new system now and install T.I.M.S. at a later date.
“We welcome with much anticipation our business taxpayers who want to voluntarily comply and [which are] ready to register and commence [the] implementation of T.I.M.S.,” the Ministry’s statement said.
“You do not necessarily have to wait for your invitation [but are] most welcome to contact us now and we will provide [...] support.
“There are a number of Point of Sale and products that have been accredited [for use as part of T.I.M.S.] and published on the Ministry’s website.
“Businesses with no invoicing system are strongly advised to consult the published material to select the best option that suits the nature of your business activities.
“For those who have an invoicing system which is not yet accredited, please contact your vendor to inform them of the requirement to have their product accredited.”