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Shocking revelations on tax evasion

October 26, 2017 6:34 pm

Close to half of the local businesses are not paying their tax dues to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service.

Chief Executive, Visvanath Das has revealed there is a total of forty-three thousand, one hundred and ninety-six active businesses in Fiji.

However, only twenty-two thousand, three hundred and three businesses are paying their tax returns.

Meaning, the remaining fifty-two percent of the business population are apparently not paying up.

Das says this dishonest behaviour is really unfair on the three hundred and forty-one thousand, two hundred and fifty-one salary earners.

As these salary earners had their tax deductions at source by their employers.

Currently, there are ten thousand, three hundred and eighty-six active companies, however, only five thousand, six hundred and forty-eight are paying taxes.

As for Estates and Trusts, only fifteen percent are complaint. With only eight hundred filling out returns out of the five thousand, three hundred and thirteen.

Lastly, for Partnerships, there are four thousand and nine active but only six hundred are filling their returns to the Revenue and Customs.

Das stressed his disappointment with these businesses, companies, trusts, estates and partnerships as there cheating the law and salary earners.

He is also urging these businesses to come forth and opt for voluntary compliance mechanisms offered by the Revenue and Customs.

Das warns that if these unfaithful traders continue this trend they will have to pay up to three hundred percent in fines.

Construction

The Revenue and Customs have also revealed close to seven percent of our revenue is accounted for by the construction industry.

Das says this amounts to eleven thousand, four hundred and thirty-one million dollars.

However, he explained this value does not add up as there’s been a construction boom in the country, following Tropical Cyclone Winston last year.

Das told FBC News the nine hundred and eighty-five registered construction companies are under high surveillance.

Audits are also being conducted on the books of these companies to verify compliance rate.

Real Estate

The Real Estate Industry is also an area of concern for the Revenue and Customs as there is a number of discrepancies.

Das says the movement in the industry has been very high over the last ten years but the revenues are simply not matching.

The industry accounts for three percent of the revenue, amounting to fifty-three million dollars.

He adds a number of cases relating to money laundering through the real estate industry were detected by the team.

Therefore, a special team is monitoring the industry.

Supermarkets

Tax non-compliance remains an issue within the supermarket industry.

The Revenue and Customs say out of the seven hundred and ninety-four registered supermarkets only three percent worth of revenue is being collected.

Das says tax evasion and avoidance by a single supermarket could amount to fifty million dollars.

Meaning, thirty-nine billion dollars could be collected from taxes.

As reported by FBC News earlier, three supermarkets are under investigation for tax evasion.

The Chief Executive of the Revenue and Customs stressed there are many dishonest and unfaithful tax evaders, who are finding ways to get around the tax laws of this country.

The no-nonsense tax man says they are auditing supermarkets, the real estates, construction and hardware companies and will catch up with this unethical behaviour.