Wednesday 5 August, Honiara – The country’s Inland Revenue Division (IRD) is concerned with the continuous practice of remitting money overseas by some businesses which causes a huge impact on Government revenue.
IRD Commissioner, Mr Joseph Dokekana revealed this at an Information Session hosted by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) for its member businesses on Friday 31 July at the Heritage Park Hotel.
According to Mr Dokekana, IRD has conducted an audit and found that certain businesses (taxpayers) are remitting [sending] monies overseas without paying tax to the Solomon Islands Government.
The audit also found that returns and payments have not been lodged while some businesses are not registered.
Mr Dokekana said one that is of serious concern is the continual remitting of money overseas.
“Some are remitting money as purchases or family support in millions of dollars which are in fact deemed dividends and no withholding tax has been paid on them or they are salaries and no PAYE paid.
“Others are sending money supposedly to purchase goods but it was found the goods have never entered into the Solomon Islands,” the IRD Commissioner revealed.
Mr Dokekana said in one case, information showed that more than SBD20 million went out by Telegraphic Transfer (TT) to purchase goods but imports from this particular case were only SBD4 million.
“So, if you are aware of any of these practices, it is in the interest of all concerned to come forward now and make a voluntary disclosure to lessen any penalties that may be imposed,” he said.
According to the amount of tax assessed by the audit, revenue collected dropped by $115, 002, 655 in 2019 as compared to the previous year, 2018.
“We are carrying out an assessment on people who are doing these illegal activities and they are liable to huge penalties. From this assessment the IRD will be able to come up with ways to stop these activities that tax payers are engaged in,” Mr Dokekana said.
The IRD Commissioner was disinclined to reveal figures on how much exactly is the Government losing out on in terms of tax revenue due to this practice of remitting money overseas by certain businesses.
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