October 19, 2012

$400m target

Geraldine Panapasa
Thursday, October 18, 2012

THE Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority is working towards achieving its target of $400million for this quarter despite a setback in revenue collection caused by the two national disasters early in the year.

In the 2012 budget announcement by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, FRCA was tasked with collecting $1.72billion this year.

"In the last quarter, FRCA's collection was $10million above forecast. We have tax arrears over $100m and with the tax rates reduced across the board this year, we are urging taxpayers to comply with the tax laws," said FRCA chief executive officer Jitoko Tikolevu.

"FRCA's legal powers include freezing bank accounts, selling assets, closing businesses, imposing fines and even imprisonment for unpaid taxes."

Early this month, Mr Tikolevu revealed more than 10 companies were under scrutiny for fraudulent activities including understatements of documents for duty.

"Our tax evasion investigations are continuing and we cannot divulge any information at this stage," he said yesterday.

Last week, acting permanent secretary for Finance Kelera Vakaloloma confirmed the 2013 national budget announcement would fall on November 23.

"FRCA collects 90 per cent of the government's revenue. We cannot make a comment on the 2013 national budget at this stage," Mr Tikolevu said.

Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer Premila Kumar confirmed on Tuesday they had lodged their budget submission while other ministries and organisations remain tight-lipped on what to expect from the announcement.

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