High number of bogus tax agents recorded by FRCS
June 10, 2018 6:56 pm
The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service have recorded an increase in the number of bogus tax agents this financial year.
Speaking to FBC News, Chief Executive, Visvanath Das says eleven cases are before the courts for prosecution of taxpayer and so-called tax agent collusions whereby, they have tried to over claim vat refunds particularly in the Western division.
“These tax agents they prepare vat returns for their clients and because they are not registered tax agents, the strategy they use is they get the taxpayers to sign and then what happens these returns go under investigation then whoever has done returns for them they get out of it because they have not signed for it – whereas, if you look at tax agents and accountants they sign for their clients so should they be errors or if they returns are manipulated then the taxpayer and tax agent are liable.”
Das says in order to avoid being duped by fake agents, taxpayers can refer to their website for registered agents.
The taxman is warning these bogus agents that they will be caught as the Revenue and Customs has stringent measures to monitor taxes.
“For these kinds of bogus agents with the promises of getting excess refund from the tax office, I just want to assure them that we have robust systems in place, we have our full audit investigation teams, we have our desk audit teams, we have ever layer of checking that we do to ensure the correct funds are being processed.”
Das says those agents who manipulate tax documents can face seven years imprisonment.
However, under the tax act when the crime is fraudulent there is no jail time limit.
He adds that in terms of vat, a fine of three hundred percent penalty could be imposed.