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Regional Tax Heads attend 15th PITAA Heads Meeting

12th September, 2018

The 15th Pacific Islands Tax Administrators Association (PITAA) Heads meeting got underway at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

PITAA Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Revenue and Customs Mr. Visvanath Das is chairing the week long meeting, attended by sixteen (16) regional tax heads. Officials from International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC), New Zealand Inland Revenue Department, Inter- American Center of Tax Administration (CIAT), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Oceania Customs Organization (OCO) are also attending the meeting.

In his opening speech Mr. Das highlighted the need for Pacific Island Tax Administrators to work together to achieve the common goals of their respective Tax Administrations. He highlighted the need for Tax reforms for ease of doing business.

“Tax reforms are mostly designed to meet one or more of several macro objectives which includes, promoting fiscal sustainability and macroeconomic stability, improving private sector investment climate, strengthening export competitiveness or improving governance and transparency in public resource management,” Mr. Das said.

“Fiji is viewed as a big brother in the Pacific, celebrating 9 consecutive years of economic growth averaging 3% year on year and in the last financial year Fiji Revenue & Customs Service achieved tax revenue growth of 10% over the same period previous year.”

“This is being fueled by increased investment, broader tax regimes and strong demand due to Fiscal policy. For example, in the 2017/2018 budget announcement Government increased the income tax threshold to $30,000 which led to an increase in cash circulation by approximately $22m FJD,” Mr. Das told the participants.

“Despite the strong growth, several factors have substantially increased revenue risks and the complexity and volume of service, audit and other compliance interventions by revenue authorities. Amongst them are growth in the international trade, supported by e-commerce developments, changes in employment patterns and growth in the numbers of contractors, innovations in business structures and financial products, and the commoditization of tax schemes,” Mr. Das said.

The meeting concludes on Thursday 13 September 2018.

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