17 Nov 2005

Fiji's tax office say there's no cover up following its refusal to hand over tax records

5:06 pm on 17 November 2005

The Chief Executive of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority says there is nothing suspicious about his refusal to hand over tax records to the Auditor General.

Tevita Banuve says until the auditor general, Eroni Vatuleka, swears an oath of secrecy that is required under the Income Tax Act and the Value Added Tax Decree, he will not release any records.

He also says that individual tax returns cannot be handed over by law.

Fiji's Deputy Auditor General, Kavemi Takalebu, says this has symied attempts to investigate complaints of corrupt practises within the tax office.

But Mr Banuve says they are working within the law.

"There's no cover up. We are hounding...we are after every possible tax payer who's defaulting. That's our job. We'll continue to do that to the best of our ability."

Mr Takalebu says his office has called on parliament and the Finance Minister to help them gain access to records.