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Fiji Gives Amnesties On Offshore Assets, Tax Penalties

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

23 January 2015

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) has announced two six-month amnesty programs, for undeclared offshore assets and for persons struggling to pay tax dues.

The first amnesty will enable taxpayers who disclose assets held offshore to be liable for unpaid taxes only. Initially announced by the Fijian Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, during his 2015 Budget presentation last November, the initiative is being billed as an opportunity for taxpayers to voluntarily disclose all assets held offshore.

"The amnesty will be from January 1 to June 30, 2015," FRCA Chief Executive Officer Jitoko Tikolevu said. "We urge taxpayers who fall under this category to take advantage of this amnesty period. We already have some information from our counterparts on locals who have assets in various countries. With the information received from taxpayers, FRCA will match their declarations with information already with us from our counterparts and amend taxpayers' returns."

Meanwhile, under the second program, penalties will be waived for those who show that they are having difficulties paying outstanding tax liabilities, providing a full declaration is made on tax liabilities up to December 31, 2014. The amnesty will also run until June 30, 2015.

"This is a very specific amnesty for those who genuinely have difficulties in paying their tax liabilities, to which they have agreed," Tikolevu added. "Taxes are not being waived, but only penalties. As we move towards a self-assessment and voluntary compliance regime, this is an initiative to assist those who genuinely have challenges in paying their taxes to start afresh with full compliance."

The second amnesty will not cover penalties on lodgments and assessments raised after December 31, 2014, or audit penalties.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | law | Fiji | enforcement | offshore | penalties | Tax

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