Gov’t eyes better tax system

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and SICCI Chairman Ricky Fuo’o.
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The Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) says it is fully committed to deliver a fair, simple and broad- based tax system.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare highlighted this recently.

“The government is aware that the country’s current tax system is complex, expensive to administer, includes distortionary exemptions, and relies on high rates applied to a narrow base, which discourages compliance,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister, getting the tax system right is important as the government seeks higher levels of productive investment to support job creation and sustainable growth.

The government had embarked on a tax review to deliver a fair, simple, and broad-based tax system prior to Covid-19.

“There are plans to introduce a value-added tax to replace various goods taxes, sales tax, stamp duties, and customs duties that currently have multiple rates of tax, and different rules and procedures,” the Prime Minister highlighted.

The Prime Minister further said, “In 2020, government had intended to introduce the Tax Administration Bill 2020 in Parliament, but this had to be delayed for 2021 as a result COVID-19 disruptions in the country.”

According to the Prime Minister, the government looks forward for the passage of this Bill as it would greatly strengthen its revenue administration capacity to support the economic recovery process.

He further acknowledged that the Government is fully aware that the delays in the payment of goods and services has a direct impact on the private sector.

“As a result, the Government plans to introduce a new payment system called the National Payment System infrastructure,” he said.

“This will be an automated transfer system,” he reiterated. 

According to Sogavare, the system should help in the timely Government payment to all suppliers of goods, services and infrastructure projects.

“The DCGA is fully committed to the implementation of its policy priorities in the interest of economic empowerment and national stability.”