15 Mar 2005

Attorney General in American Samoa says many foreign workers avoid paying taxes

7:18 pm on 15 March 2005

There's a claim in American Samoa that many foreign workers are being paid in cash and are not paying taxes.

The Attorney General, Sialega Malaetasi Togafau, has told a Senate hearing that he has come across several such cases during a review of immigration sponsorships.

He says partnerships or corporations which sponsor foreign workers are required to submit copies of taxes paid with their applications.

But the Attorney General says many are being paid in cash and are not paying any taxes to the government.

The Attorney General was testifying on a bill which would prohibit partnerships and corporations from sponsoring aliens.

Many senators say lax enforcement is the reason why the number of foreigners now residing in American Samoa has ballooned.

They say this is draining resources at the hospital, creating a need for new classrooms and burdening other public infrastructure and services.