A statement from the Government Communication Unit said, the Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon. Snyder Rini will officially launch the event.
“Following the launch, the Tax Review Consultation Committee (TRCC) will conduct and open consultation session.
“Attendees will be able to listen to a presentation on the review and will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide insights and feedback on the current tax regime.”
The statement explained the current tax structure in Solomon Islands has been largely unchanged for decades, imposes a very high tax burden when compared to other Pacific Island countries and outdated, inefficient, complex and expensive to administer. It is anti-competitive and does not promote economic growth.
“The open consultation session will focus on 1) tax administrative issues, and 2) consumption taxes, as the first two components of Stage 1 of the Tax Review.
“The review of tax administrative issues aims to improve the administration of the tax system by ensuring a well-functioning tax administration and making it easier and less costly for taxpayers, including business, to comply with the tax law.”
The other focus of the tax review, consumption taxes, will examine the current consumption taxes in Solomon Islands – particularly the Goods Tax, Sales Tax and Import Duties and seeks views on whether improvements should be made to the current system, or whether a move to a new consumption tax regime, such as a Value Added Tax (VAT), would deliver more benefits for the country, the statement said.
“As consumption taxes are applied to the most business inputs, they increase the cost of doing business in Solomon Islands.
“Further, the current consumption tax regime does not integrate with those of our trading partners as most have a VAT in place.
“Therefore our current system is a barrier to the development of new exports and risks making our existing exports uncompetitive.”
The Tax Review Consultation Committee in interested in gathering a wide-range of views on the future direction of tax reform in Solomon Islands to enable recommendations to be made to the Government on future steps to deliver, simple and broad-based tax system, which ensures everyone who is liable to pay tax, pays the correct amount.
Interested businesses and individuals are encouraged to attend the Tax Review launch on Friday and RSVP for the event to [email protected] by 23 August 2017.
Discussion papers to inform public consultations are available on the Ministry of Finance website (www.mof.gov.sb ) before the end of the consultation period.