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Audit Uncovers Forged VAT Returns

Audit Uncovers Forged VAT Returns
Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority chief executive, Jitoko Tikolevu
September 23
10:06 2015

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) has stressed it will come down hard on taxpayers who breach the taxation laws and regulations.

FRCA’s Compliance Risk Management and Audit Team have confirmed that some taxpayers are disclosing incorrect information in their VAT returns.

The authority stated this fraudulent behaviour is totally not acceptable!

FRCA is also investigating some major supermarkets that are using additional cash registers for tempering its sales data.

Sales from these additional cash registers are not in the company’s books of records.

The money in these cash registers goes directly into the pockets of the owners.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority chief executive, Jitoko Tikolevu, said: “This money is unaccounted for and is a classic example of tax evasion and fraud.

“Some accountants and tax agents are also under spotlight for aiding and abetting its clients to evade paying taxes.

“Whilst the Government is encouraging taxpayer facilitation and business partnerships, we expect honesty, integrity and fairness from taxpayer population!

“This non-compliant behaviour is not fair to our complaint taxpayers. We will not condone nor tolerate any case of dishonesty and false declaration by taxpayers.”


Recent audits

Mr Tikolevu said recent audits and inspections carried out by FRCA on some VAT registered persons has revealed some serious VAT returns omissions.

“This includes understating VAT sales, overstating zero-rated supplies, overstating exports, undeclared VAT on employee fringe benefits that were subject to VAT,” he said.

“Also undeclared VAT on indemnity payments received from insurance companies, overstating VAT on expenses and purchases and no VAT adjustments on private or exempt expenses.

He said FRCA is currently carrying out inspections and routine audits on all VAT registered persons.

“This exercise is for compliance verifications. Whilst FRCA is putting all efforts to turn around all VAT refunds on timely basis to assist businesses cash-flows, these fraudulent claims and non-declaration is causing unnecessary delays,” he said.


Full brunt of law

Mr Tikolevu has warned taxpayers that FRCA will treat any falsified VAT return with all seriousness and offenders will have to face the full brunt of the law including imprisonment.

“It also been revealed that some employers are claiming 100 per cent of the employers FNPF deduction instead of the 50 per cent allowable deduction,” he said.

“Under the Tax Administration Decree, it is a serious offence to provide false information to FRCA. Penalties and prosecution will be imposed on non-compliant taxpayers.”


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