May 25, 2017 11:13 am

6 companies under investigation, 3 others pay $25m tax bill

The Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority is cracking down on companies evading tax and customs duty.

FRCA Statement – May 25, 2017

Six (6) companies are being investigated by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) for alleged Tax and Customs Duty evasion amounting to more than $15 million dollars.

These six companies who are involved in the import trade are allegedly undervaluing their goods to evade Customs Duties as well as understating their income to avoid Taxes. Some companies are also allegedly involved in an invoicing scam.

“Three (3) other companies that were under investigation for similar reasons have been investigated and slapped with a $25-million-dollar tax bill. These three companies who are major importers have since paid their taxes and penalties in full”, FRCA Chief Executive Officer Mr Visvanath Das said.

“We have also noted that in some cases these Fijian based companies set up business houses either in Australia or New Zealand and buy products and supplies for the business in Fiji. However, upon further investigation, it was established that the products and supplies are coming from China, but the invoices are generated in either Australia or New Zealand”, Mr Das stressed.

“In such cases, the value of invoice can be manipulated and understated to avoid duty and VAT at the border. We have also established that these Fijian based companies then remit monies to its overseas companies for payment of goods supplied when in fact these monies are being invested into properties and other activities”.

Furthermore, we have also established that for zero-rated or 5 % duty rate items, the value of the goods are inflated when they are imported into Fiji as a way to siphon money of the country. Similarly, Taxpayers declare huge losses on their tax returns to pay less tax.

“This is happening and is under investigation because it’s not only tax evasion but money laundering as well”.

“Despite the many public awareness, amnesty programs, support services and media coverage on voluntary compliance, some taxpayers are still looking for ways to evade their tax obligations’’.