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FRCS Records 628 Whistleblower Cases Between 2017 And 2019

Chief executive officer, Visvanath Das said they have paid just over a million dollars for 32 cases that qualified for the reward payments.
10 Jan 2020 11:59
FRCS Records 628 Whistleblower Cases Between 2017 And 2019
Fiji Revenue and Customs Service chief executive officer Visvanath Das.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) have registered 628 whistleblower cases between 2017 and 2019.

Chief executive officer, Visvanath Das said they have paid just over a million dollars for 32 cases that qualified for the reward payments.

FRCS whistle blowing policy

The FRCS whistle blowing policy encourages members of the public to report or disclose any fraudulent acts, unethical behaviour, breaches of FRCS Legislation, Regulations and Policies committed by any company or business person. This includes including any aspect of service provision or the conduct of officers or any member of FRCS.

A whistle blower should make disclosures without fear of victimisation or subsequent discrimination or disadvantage.

It is somewhat different from just raising a complaint; the advantage of this policy is that it is an avenue where cash reward is given to a whistleblower whose claims are substantiated.

Meanwhile, he said the major issue that the Fijian tax system faces is the black economy.

Mr Das further elaborated that the preference amongst Fijians is to deal in cash.

VAT Monitoring System

He said: “Whilst implementing the initiative by Government for supporting Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the free point-of-sale (POS) for VAT Monitoring System, we found only 594 applicants out of the 1000 qualify as SMEs that is their total turnover being below $500k.

“We are still faced with under-declarations for VAT, under-valuations for Customs Duty, overstatement of expenses including claiming of personal expenses as business expenses.

“On the same note there are many taxpayers who take advantage of our Voluntary Compliance Programme whereby taxpayers detecting any inadvertent errors in their own records, voluntarily declare the same with payment of due taxes and save themselves from interest or audit penalties.”

Black economy

Black economy is simply a segment of a country’s economic activity that is derived from sources that fall outside of the country’s rules and regulations regarding commerce.

The activities can be either legal or illegal depending on what goods and/or services are involved.

In terms of cases that have been investigated/ under investigation by the FRCS for gross under-declaration of sales, last year, Mr Das said they investigated 2183 cases.

They discovered total income understatements of $575 million. This resulted in $87.5m of tax revenue.

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