8 Sep 2008

Pacific countries urged to work together to overhaul tax systems

5:48 am on 8 September 2008

Pacific countries are being urged to work together to overhaul their tax systems.

The Pacific Islands Tax administrators Association has just held its annual meeting in Vanuatu .

Carson McNeil, from the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre, says the emphasis was on learning from other countries, so Pacific issues can be dealt with in the region.

He says there's a move towards voluntarily tax compliance, although there is some reluctance.

"The current processes have been in for a long time, decades. It's a question of change, and I presented yesterday,on the risk management in terms of compliance, that the responses that we need to provide is a mixture of enforcement and assistance, carrot and stick...and that self assessment is the way forward under that concept."

Carson McNeil says a lot of countries in the region are undergoing reform, sometimes with few resources in terms of policy design and implementation.