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Regional Tax Seminar

REGIONAL TAX SEMINAR

Twenty- two (22) officials from nine (9) Asia Pacific countries are in Fiji to attend the Pacific Regional Tax Seminar on Risk Assessment, hosted at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCS) Complex in Nasese, Suva.

The seminar which has been organized by the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), was officially opened by Mr. Visvanath Das, Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority this morning.

“Some taxpayers failed to meet their obligations due to ignorance, carelessness, neglect and in some cases because of weaknesses in the tax administration system. Therefore, it is indeed necessary for tax administrations to have in place strategies and laws to ensure that non-compliance with tax law or tax fraud is kept to a minimum”, Mr. Das said.

“Effective risk identification and assessment are critical if tax administrations are to select the right cases for audit. Before an audit, a risk assessment needs to be done. This will determine which cases should be audited and once the risk is appropriately identified and assessed, the audit can be more focused, shorter and more effective”.

“In Fiji, we have moved towards Self-Assessment, whereby most tax returns are initially accepted and processed at face value and selected taxpayers are targeted for review action by technical staff. While moving towards self-assessment, a greater emphasis is placed to assist the taxpayer to ‘get it right’ the first time and voluntarily comply with the tax and customs laws”, Mr. Das stressed.

The Executive Director of Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) Mr. Duncan Onduru, who is also part of the seminar highlighted the need for Pacific Island countries to work together to achieve the common goal of establishing a robust tax administration.

“Conceived at a time when most developing countries had nowhere to go and no one to look up to when faced with challenges in their revenue administration, CATA has always stood out as a dependable partner to these countries. The various tax reforms initiatives undertaken by most countries, can be attributed to their membership of this association”, Mr. Onduru told participants.

The three-day seminar ends this Thursday 27/04.

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