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Pacific Tax Administrations encouraged to be efficient in collecting revenues due

 

Members of the Pacific Islands Tax Administrations Association with the PM and Cabinet Ministers after the opening of their meeting this morning

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA- WEDNESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2017: The members of the Pacific Island Tax Administration Association (PITAA) have been encouraged to modernize not only their mindset, but the laws, systems, procedures and structures on tax administration, so that they are effective an efficient in collecting revenues due to their governments

The 16 member organisation opened its meeting in Apia this morning and Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi urged them to focus their discussion and deliberation on regional strategies and methods to strengthen the pacific tax administration.

The 14th PITAA conference is focussing on the theme “Institutional Strengthening of Tax Administration”.

He said tax is the major revenue that Governments rely on for funding public expenditure and PITAA members must work together.

“We have to ensure that we protect our revenue base and prevent revenue leakages from stagnant and old fashioned tax administration, tax planning schemes and others to avoid evade paying the right tax,” said Tuilaepa.

He also made reference to other challenges the Pacific islands face that include the increase use of e-commerce, hidden application of transfer pricing and base erosion, profit shifting, such as methods used by multinational enterprises and numerous challenges faced by Pacific tax administrations.

He said to address revenue leakage issues; PITAA has to work together collaboratively and cooperatively as a region, to share information, knowledge, skills, and techniques as the limited resources, and different levels of capabilities and capacities.

The Prime Minister opening the meeting

He said working together is a must and would also provide us with comparative advantages as a regional body when deliberating with international partners on taxation issues, political, climate, environmental, health, and educational matters that directly impact the region’s survival.

He commended and congratulated the PITAA 16 members for formalizing the establishment of the PITAD Secretariat which is now tasked to facilitate and promote best international tax practices and standards with close co-operation and coordination of information sharing amongst the member tax administrations.

He also acknowledge with gratitude the long standing system and support of PITAA by the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre.

“As the world keeps changing at a rapid base, it is important that our tax administration in the Pacific region adapt to the evolving changes to ensure that we are not left behind,” he said.

The PITAA conference is for three days and a special ceremony will be held tomorrow night to acknowledge the recipients of tax awards.

On a lighter note, Tuilaepa brought laughter to the audience when he said the most honest business man who ever to walk the earth was Jesus. “Because he paid all his taxes.”

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