NEWS

Amnesty Period Until October 15

Fijians who have assets overseas now have time until October 15 to declare them. Government had announced in the 2015 budget an amnesty period for all Fijians to declare the
29 Jun 2015 11:00
Amnesty Period Until October 15
Attorney-General and Minister for Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday. Photo: Aqela Susu

Fijians who have assets overseas now have time until October 15 to declare them.

Government had announced in the 2015 budget an amnesty period for all Fijians to declare the assets they have offshore. Since then $13.5million worth of overseas assets owned by Fijians had been declared.

Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday announced the extension to the amnesty period and stressed that Fijians would not be taxed on income derived from those assets held overseas, retrospectively.

Government had taken its cue from Australia where a similar policy was put in place and Australians ended up declaring $7billion worth of assets held offshore.

“We had given six months and today I would like to make the announcement that the extension would go on till 15 October. So far, we have had $13.5million worth of assets declared by Fijians who hold it offshore that had not been previously declared.

“We are not going to go back and say that the property was bought in 2011 and in 2012 you earned $80,000 rent on that you have to pay 20 or whatever per cent it is as tax.

“We are saying that we are also giving amnesty on that. It is only assessable income or any income derived from that going forward.”

He clarified that income from properties held overseas will only be taxed from 2016.

“I want to assure all those people who have assets offshore to feel free and come and declare your assets.”

Heavy penalties will be imposed on those who fail to declare their offshore assets.

“A lot more people are finding the will to come forward and declare these assets and I would also like to make an announcement that any declaration of assets will not incur any penalty as has been stated in the budget.

“Any declaration of assets will not incur any fines or any charges. I would also like to make it clear that any declaration of any assets will not raise any assessable  income from that- what I mean by that is if somebody owns a flat in downtown Auckland- they bought the place and are renting it out- if they declare that, we are not going to say you are to pay us tax on the amount of money you have earned.”

A practice note will be sent out by Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority to this effect.

“I have observed how the Liberal Party in Melbourne operates and their party president is the party boss, he is the chair of the board and the most powerful person.

“So with that classic democratic political system , that is where the party is heading towards, to give the president the authority.

“So we have the party leader who operates in Parliament then there is the party president who looks after the party processes without being interfered by the parliamentary work.” Mr Tabaiwalu said

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