The SICCI team meeting with Finance Minister Rick Hou. Photo: Courtesy of SICCI.

The SICCI team meeting with Finance Minister Rick Hou. Photo: Courtesy of SICCI.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants changes in the national tax system.

The Chamber says changing the tax system will encourage investment and growth; reduce tax avoidance; and, improve the purchasing power of the people of Solomon Islands.

CEO Jerry Tengemoana presented the Chamber’s position on tax reform to the Minister for Finance, Rick Hou during a recent discussion in Honiara.

During the meeting, Minister Hou flagged a number of prospective changes to Income Tax for the Minerals sector, and changes to Sales Tax.

These two amendments are expected to be tabled at the next meeting of Parliament.

SICCI’s position paper was based on a recent survey of its members on the current Tax system, and what members saw as areas of improvement.

One key issue the survey highlighted was setting tax brackets for personal income tax, where 55 per cent of respondents stated that the current personal income tax rates were inequitable.

High rates of personal tax are an impediment to doing business in the Solomon Islands, which is in stark contrast to Pacific neighbors who have more reasonable levels of tax and less instances of tax avoidance as a result.

Other key issues for reform that were identified included Customs and Excise Duty, Fringe Benefits Tax, Goods Tax and Exemption Certificates.

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