3 Mar 2004

Former Fiji finance minister says ex-pats are using a legal tax loophole

11:10 am on 3 March 2004

A former Fiji finance minister, Jim Ah Koy, has called on tax and immigration departments to monitor capital gains made by expatriates through what he says is a legitimate tax loophole.

The Fiji Times reports that Mr Ah Koy, who is now a senator, has told the Upper House that expatriates arrive in the country, buy homes with loans, and repay it with their housing allowance.

He says once their contract expires, they sell the house, pocket the capital gains, and return to their country.

Mr Ah Koy says the tax and immigration departments should monitor these types of tax evaders, adding that in most countries people on work permits are not allowed to buy and speculate in domestic housing.

The former finance minister says he has no conflict of interest, as he is no longer renting homes.