Tax review set to launch this week

Minister of Finance and Treasury Hon. Snyder Rini. Photo credit: Parliament.

A tax review consultation programme will be launched in Honiara this Friday.

Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon. Snyder Rini will launch the consultation programme.

The review aims to improve the country’s current tax system by ensuring a well-functioning tax administration and making it easier and cheaper for taxpayers to comply with the tax law.

Following the launch, a committee will conduct an open consultation session.

Attendees will hear a presentation on the review and will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the current tax regime.

The tax structure in Solomon Islands had been largely unchanged for decades and imposes a high tax burden compared to other Pacific Island countries.

A government statement described the current tax system as outdated, inefficient, complex and expensive to administer.

It said, the system is also anti-competitive and does not promote economic growth.

The open consultation session will focus on tax administrative issues and consumption taxes, as part of the first stage of the review.

Meanwhile, a government statement said consumption taxes are another focus of the tax review.

This part of the review will examine the current consumption taxes in Solomon Islands, including Goods Tax, Sales Tax and Import Duties, and seek views on whether the current system should be improved or changed to a new consumption tax regime, such as Value Added Tax.

As consumption taxes were applied to most business inputs, they increased the cost of doing business in Solomon Islands. The current consumption tax regime also does not integrate with those of our trading partners, as most have a VAT in place.

The review committee encouraged interested businesses and individuals to attend the launch Friday to discuss these issues.

 

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