4 Sep 2020

Samoa delays launch of tax compliance measure

8:46 am on 4 September 2020

Samoa's Ministry of Customs and Revenue has delayed the introduction of a new tax monitoring system following pressure from the Chamber of Commerce.

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Photo: RNZ

The Chamber's chief executive said the system would be an onerous burden on businesses.

With businesses in Samoa struggling amid the pandemic, the Chamber's Lemauga Hobart Va'ai said it was good the launch of the tax invoice monitoring system had been delayed.

The system required retailers to buy electronic point of sale devices to print tax invoices for every purchase.

Its purpose was to ensure retailers comply with their tax obligations.

The ministry's website said the rollout of the system had been delayed by five months and would now be launched in stages during 2021.

The Chamber said their other focus was to lobby government to re-start the Sunday sailings of the inter-island ferry service which had been suspended under the State of Emergency restrictions.

While the Chamber supported measures to keep the community safe and Covid-19 free, Lemauga said it was concerned about continued preventative measures that restricted businesses. He welcomed the borders remaining closed but said "the domestic economy must continue to function".

"The private sector is the engine of growth, and the engine needs to keep moving," he said.

A potential increase to the restrictions mooted by the prime minister, including greater social distancing measures and longer quarantine times, would need to be supported by a rationale based in fact, Lemauga added.