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Service Turnover Tax (STT)

Service Turnover Tax (STT) is a tax that is levied on the VAT exclusive cost of turnover of any person conducting a business involving the provision of a prescribed service, at the rate of 6%, with effect from 1 August, 2017. Turnover means any sums or amounts received or receivable by or on behalf of the owner of a service in respect of any sums or amounts included in a charge for a prescribed service. The service provider has to collect the STT shown on the bill issued to a customer.

Who should register for STT?

For existing businesses, the owner or person who is responsible for the daily management of a prescribed service (Accountable Person) should register with FRCS once they become liable to register.

For new businesses, the Accountable Person should first obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN), and then register for STT purposes. Registration must be done within 30 days before the business commences. For STT registration the accountable person will be required to complete the STT registration form. To access the form, you can simply click on the following link: https://www.frcs.org.fj/taxation-forms-service-turnover-tax-registration/. You can also access the registration form from any of our FRCS Customer Service Centres Fiji wide.

Who is the Accountable Person?

“Accountable person” can be any one of the following persons – the owner, manager, sole precedent partner or any person who is responsible for the daily management of the prescribed service.

Deemed STT registration

Any person who should have registered and has not done so, will be deemed to be registered.

Liability to register upon reaching the taxable threshold

For the following prescribed services, registration depends upon a ‘taxable threshold’:

  • Bistros and coffee shops – turnover $1.25 million and more
  • Provision of meals/beverages in a licensed restaurant – turnover of $1.25 million or more

 

Once the above persons reach the taxable threshold, they should register so that they can start including STT in their service charges. The effective date to start accounting for STT is the month of registration.

Services subject to STT

 

Service provider

Services subject to STT

1.

Licensed hotels

Accommodation, refreshments and any other services.

2.

Tourist vessels operating within Fiji waters

Accommodation, refreshments and any other services provided on board.

3.

Licensed bars

Meals, beverages and any other services provided in a licensed bar. This includes licensed bars located, for example, in private clubs.

4.

Licensed Nightclub

Services such as music, dancing or other entertainment including other services

5.

Inbound tour operators

Travel, tour and sight-seeing services.

6.

Organizers of entertainment programs /product exhibitions

Entry fees to the events venue.

7.

Recreational Activity operators

Recreational activities provided by these operators E.g. Skydiving

8.

Cinema Operators

Entry fees and all services provided within the cinema premises.

9.

Licensed Rental/hire car operators

With effect from 01/01/15 any hire of chauffeur driven motor vehicles. This applies to motor vehicles that –

·       come with a driver

·       does not have a meter

·       the fare is negotiated or is fixed

Includes vehicles with ‘LH’ license plates. it

It does not include the hire of taxis

Hire of rental cars and other transport services by a rental car operator

10.

Bistros and coffee shops

Meals, beverages and other services. This only applies to service providers with a gross turnover of  over $1.25 million dollars

11.

Licensed Restaurants

Meals, beverages and other services. This only applies in licensed restaurants with an annual gross turnover of over $1.25 million dollars.

12.

Aircraft operators

This applies to charter flight services except for charter flights for medical or natural disaster relief evacuations services are not subject to STT.

13.

Water sports operators

All water sports activities including river safaris.

14.

Home stay operators

Accommodation and other services provided in a private residence or property that accommodates tourists, international students or overseas visitors who are paying guests. It does not apply to hostels/accommodation operated by public educational institutions.

15.

Unlicensed service operators

If a service provider is not licensed but meets the registration requirements and, it will be required to register and charge STT on the services provided.

Who is responsible for collecting STT?

The Accountable person or the prescribed service provider must account for STT collected. In other words, once the prescribed service provider is registered in FRCS for STT purposes – it is required to collect STT from the date at which it was registered. The Prescribed Service provider becomes a collecting agent for government.

 

Accounting for STT

The Accountable person must account for STT in monthly returns. A STT return should be completed and submitted with a cheque /cash for the STT applicable on the turnover for that month by the end of following month. The forms are available on our website and Customer Service Centre.

The Accountable Person may issue bills that are STT inclusive or STT/VAT inclusive or separately depending on the record keeping system adopted. However, adequate records must be kept for audit purposes.

 

Record Keeping (Section 34 of TAA 2009)

  • STT accounts and records should be kept for at least 7 years
  • If a person wants to discard records before the end of the 7-year period, they must make an application in writing to the CEO.

 
STT Penalties

  • Any STT remaining unpaid after the due date for payment – 25% Late Payment Penalty applies.
  • If lodgment is late, 20% Late Lodgment Penalty will apply on the outstanding amount on the return.
  • An additional 5% late payment and late lodgment penalties will apply for each month of default on the unpaid tax.
  • Deliberate failure to maintain proper records – penalty equal to 75% of the amount of tax payable.
  • Failure to maintain proper records due to ignorance or other reasons –  penalty equal to 20% of tax payable.
  • Deliberate false or misleading statements – penalty equal to 75% of the amount of tax shortfall.
  • Unintentional mistakes leading to incorrect returns – penalty equal to 20% of tax payable.

 

Offences

The courts can impose a maximum fine of FJ$15,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both a fine and imprisonment for the following offences:

  • Failure to file STT return
  • Failure to comply with obligations under Tax Administration Act.
  • Failure to produce any books or records relating to the turnover and collection/payment of STT

 

The courts can impose a maximum fine of FJ$25,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 24 months or to both a fine and imprisonment for the following offences:

  • failure to allow authorized tax officials from entering the hotel premises to inspect turnover, collection or payment records
  • making false or misleading statements

 Guidelines for calculating STT

The two tables below show how the gross amount paid by a hotel guest should be calculated if a hotel owner is registered for STT and VAT purposes.

 

Table 1 [manual records]

No.

Transaction Type

Charges (VEP)

STT

(6%)

ECAL

(10%)

VAT

(9%)

Total

1

Accommodation

$100

$6

$10

$9

$125

2

Refreshments

$50

$3

$5

$4.5

$62.50

 

Total

$150

$9

$15

$13.5

$187.50

 

Table 2 [system-based records]

No.

Transaction Type

Charges (VIP)

VAT

(9%)

Charges (VEP)

STT

(6%)

ECAL

(10%)

Total

1

Accommodation

$109

$9

$100

$6

$10

$125

2

Refreshments

$54.50

$4.5

$50

$3

$5

$62.50

 

Total

$163.50

$13.5

$150

$9

$15

$187.50

The table below shows how the gross amount paid by a hotel guest is calculated where the hotel owner is not registered for VAT.

 

Table 3 [when service provider is not registered for VAT]

No.

Transaction Type

Charges (VEP)

STT

(6%)

ECAL

(10%)

Total

1

Accommodation

$100

$6

$10

$116

2

Refreshments

$50

$3

$5

$58

 

Total

$150

$9

$15

$174

NOTE:

  • STT is always calculated on the VAT and ECAL exclusive
  • VAT is calculated in the same way but the base figure shall not include the STT and ECAL amount.

 

Transitional STT and VAT

  • All those services that were booked for 2016 BUT was paid in full by 31 December 2015, will ONLY be subjected to 15% VAT and 5% STT.

 

Further information:

For more information, please call Mr. Dhineshwaran Gounder on 3243503 or Mr Noa Rokona on 3243595 or email info@frcs.org.fj, or you can visit any of our Fiji Revenue and Customs Offices nearest to you.

 

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