8 May 2007

Fiji's Revenue and Customs Authority reveals low figures on state's annual tax collection

10:41 am on 8 May 2007

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority has revealed that the country's biggest industry, tourism, contributes only 2-point-4 percent to the state's annual tax collection.

The Fiji Times reports that the Authority's chief executive Tevita Banuve, was responding to concerns raised by the interim tourism minister, Bernadette Rounds-Ganilau, about how tax issues have dampened the spirit and speed with which large tourism projects are getting off the ground.

Mr Banuve says for ages the cost of funding the security forces, maintaining law and order, and providing public health and education have been paid for by taxes.

He says the Revenue and Customs Authority collects more than 600-million US dollars a year in taxes which is 90 percent of total government revenue.

Mr Banuve says of this, tourism contributes only 2-point-4 percent and the Authority must insist on collecting the tax due if society is to survive.

He says taxes which are due on tourism project land sales must be paid to prevent degradation of the tax base.