12-Month Tax Clearance Approved For Businesses In Fiji

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Revenue official warns private sector not to abuse exemption

By Jyoti Pratibha

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, June 26, 2013) – Businesses in Fiji will now be given blanket tax clearance for twelve months.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) chief executive Jitoko Tikolevu yesterday announced this new initiative for businesses around the country.

The beneficiary of this exemption would be banks, insurance companies and the 38 gold card holders of Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority.

Hotel managements would also be able to make the most of this initiative.

However, to begin with the initiative, the 38 gold card members would be one of the first beneficiaries of this exemption, before it is rolled out for other businesses.

Mr. Tikolevu explained that providing tax clearance for 12 months would allow them to free up their resources to be utilized elsewhere and would also allow business houses more ease.

Warning not to abuse

Making the announcement at Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa, Mr. Tikolevu warned that people should know better than to try to abuse this new exemption.

"Just to reinforce our need to service stakeholders more efficiently, we had decided to launch this initiative," he said.

"All gold card members, banks, payment for superannuation, payment of various fees all would be given a blanket tax clearance.

"Meaning, these people would need to visit us every month or every six months. They will only visit us once in 12 months."

Companies would only need to provide their reconciliation and payment details of tax to FRCA every month and in return, they would be given blanket tax clearance.

Automated tax return payments

A second initiative that Mr. Tikolevu announced yesterday was the automatic payments of tax returns to tourists under the Tourist VAT Refund Scheme.

Under this scheme, tourists who shop in the country are eligible to get their VAT charged on the purchase reimbursed, before they leave the country.

Currently, tourists are refunded their VAT amount manually, where they have to pick their returns from the ANZ Bank tellers at Nadi International Airport and before departing from Suva King’s Wharf.

Mr. Tikolevu said now, when any tourist would make a purchase from the licensed retailers, the details would be loaded up with the authority.

When they leave the country, the money would be deposited into their bank accounts.

This would mean that tourists would not need to queue up and wait for their refunds.

Mr. Tikolevu also said they had come across some instances where this scheme was abused.

However, with the software that has been bought would ensure that cases of fraud are a thing of the past.

The initiatives come into effect from next month.

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