Technical Assistance Mission Visit by the Australian Tax Office (ATO)
Fiji and Australia share a strong and enduring bilateral relationship underpinned by the Fiji -Australia Vuvale Partnership. The strength of this relationship was evident during a recent visit from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS).
Ms. Gabrielle Jackson, the Director of International Relations, Capacity Building and Transparency and the Assistant Director Ms. Isabelle Hu together with Ms. Celeste Breen the Director, Entry Level Program, and Mr. Allan Partington, the Economist on Performance and Tax Gap Analysis from the ATO were present at FRCS from 8th May to 19th May 2023 to deliver the first tax technical assistance mission on two key areas.
The first key area was to assist the People Capability Culture (PCC) Team of FRCS in the development of the University Paid Internship Program (UPIP).
The UPIP provides an early engagement point to recruit and retain high-quality tertiary students undertaking bachelor’s degree studies or above, looking for paid work experience aligned to their current studies. The program is designed to contribute towards FRCS current workforce targets and into the future. UPIP acts as a point of early engagement with universities and students, allowing FRCS to showcase their Employee Value Proposition.
The second key area of this mission was to assist the Risk Assessment & Financial Intelligence and Policy Team to conduct a Value Added Tax (VAT) Gap Analysis. VAT Gap Analysis is simply computing the difference between the VAT reported by taxpayers and the VAT that should have been reported if taxpayers were fully compliant with the VAT laws. The VAT Gap provides an estimate of VAT revenue loss due to tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance. VAT Gap analysis provides useful insights into the operation of the tax system and provides guidance in determining priority risks, opportunities, and allocation of resources to improve compliance.
Ms. Jackson and Ms. Hu are also working closely with FRCS to setup a world-class Taxpayer Education Team to ensure FRCS is well equipped to deliver high standards of tax awareness to the community. This will help build trust and confidence in the FRCS and the tax system and allow FRCS to tailor engagement with taxpayers based on the taxpayer’s needs.
FRCS is collaborating very closely with the ATO in developing and implementing the Dispute Resolution Framework (DRF). DRF will assist FRCS in resolving tax cases under dispute in an effective and efficient manner with reduced cost to the government and taxpayers.
FRCS CEO Mr Mark Dixon expressed his appreciation for the ongoing technical assistance from the ATO, emphasising the that FRCS will continue its engagement and collaboration to ensure we keep on learning from ATO to deliver world-class services to the public in Fiji.