June 06, 2013

Tax evaders owe more than $30M to the government

Publish date/time: 04/06/2013 [08:26]

It is estimated that tax evaders owe more than 30 million dollars to the government.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority CEO Jitoko Tikolevu said due to tax evasion, money laundering, and funding illegal activities over 300 million dollars has been circulating in the country over the past three years.

He added tax evasion is a huge challenge for the Authority.

Last year the Financial Intelligence Unit received more than 500 suspicious transaction reports from the reporting financial institutions. These reports also include cases where there is suspicion that individuals have wealth that is beyond any explanation. 

Tikolevu believes with the introduction of the new unexplained wealth provisions in the Proceeds of the Crime Amendment Decree of 2012 they will be able to deal with this issue.

For the purposes of this Decree, a person has unexplained wealth if the value of the person's total wealth is greater than the value of the person's lawfully acquired wealth.

The change in the law puts the burden of proof on the person to provide a satisfactory explanation to the court as to how he or she was able to maintain such a standard of living or how such resources or property came under his or her control.

Authorities will now have additional powers to forfeit any undeclared income as unexplained wealth. 

Previously police needed to investigate to find out how people got the money.

Story by: Ronal Deo

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