New law requires tax agents to register

Commissioner of Inland Revenue Division, Joseph Dokekana
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TAX agents must register with Commissioner of Inland Revenue to provide professional advice to tax payers.

This is specified in the proposed Tax Administration Bill 2020 now before the Bills and Legislative Committee in Parliament.

Commissioner of Inland Revenue Joseph Dokekana confirmed this through a virtual hearing with the BLC on Tuesday.

Dokekana said the new Tax Administration Bill is to administer tax agents if they fail to comply.

He said at the moment there is no provision to manage tax agents.

Chairman of Parliamentary House Committee, Rick Hou said tax agents is something that must be encouraged in accounting to help our businesses in tax lodgement and returns.

He said some business people don’t know how to write and read.

“Some business people know how to do business but don’t know how many monies come in and out and let alone tax lodge,” he said.

Economic Reform Unit in the Ministry of Finance and Treasury said under the Tax Administration Bill, tax agents must register before they can provide professional services to tax payers.

According to Section 30 of the Bill, a person is eligible for registration as a tax agent if:

  1. the person is registered with the Institute of Solomon Islands Accountant as a registered certified practising accountant or a registered book keeper; and
  2. the person has a TIN; and;
  3. the person is not a disqualified person;
  4. the Commissioner is satisfied that the person has adequate knowledge of the tax laws to act as a tax agent.

The inquiry into the Bill continues this week.