21 Mar 2007

Solomon Islands Inland Revenue audit of 2007 to target business sector

3:54 pm on 21 March 2007

The Solomon Islands government is to target its 2007 inland revenue audit in areas which the acting commissioner says need more scrutiny.

The acting Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Ronnie Piva, says information gathered by the audit team for 2006 showed that the government missed out on tax revenue of over 1 million U.S. dollars due to undeclared income, under reporting of income or non-submission of tax returns by some businesses.

He says there were also significant issues over the leasing of property with only limited withholding tax collected, plus new businesses are not registering their existence.

Mr Piva says the 2007 audit will not focus on individuals because there is a PAYE, or pay as you earn, tax system in place but the focus will be on the business sector.

"There are many areas, like high wealth and high profile taxpayers, those businesses operating outside the tax system, foreign-owned or controlled business, business activities occurred through the port, including vehicle imports, fishing and logging exports and operations of wholesalers. Those operating under memorandum of understanding and other exemptions."

Mr Piva says this is to ensure they're delivering the economic gains that were promised when the concessions were granted and to ensure that businesses track withholding tax and PAYE.