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Reduce VAT or face the law, traders told

The Consumer Council of Fiji has issued a stern warning to all traders and service providers who have failed to adjust the price of the goods/services to reflect the new
05 Jan 2016 10:52
Reduce VAT or face the law, traders told

The Consumer Council of Fiji has issued a stern warning to all traders and service providers who have failed to adjust the price of the goods/services to reflect the new VAT rate of nine per cent.

The traders/service providers must get their act together and make timely adjustment to the prices otherwise they should be ready to face the full brunt of the law.

Government has introduced a penalty of $50,000 upon conviction to a fine of up to $100,000 or five years’ imprisonment for those who do not comply with the new VAT rate.

Council chief executive, Premila Kumar, said: “So, the choice is theirs – do they want to pocket extra dollar or two or pay a hefty fine of $50,000?”

A snap check by the Council in the Capital City, Lautoka and Labasa has found some defiant traders/service providers are dillydallying in reducing the prices of the goods and services.

“What we have seen is that some traders seem to be least bothered about making the change and are acting ignorant when questioned by the consumers,” Ms Kumar said.

“Some consumers have also come forward with evidence (receipts) to prove that not all traders have made adjustments to the prices of the goods and services in line with the new VAT rate.

“We received a number of concerns/queries from shoppers over the weekend about the price change.

“The Council will not be taking this lying down but will be forwarding all the evidences to Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority.

“This is so they can undertake an investigation and impose spot fines on these unscrupulous traders who have failed to pass on the six per cent VAT reduction to the consumers.”

Ms Kumar said they will not spare any trader or service provider because they now have evidence against some of them who have failed to pass on the VAT reduction, derailing the State-initiative.

The council is optimistic that FRCA will persecute the perpetrators and fine them.

In the meantime, the Consumer Watchdog is thankful to those consumers who have come forward to lodge their complaints.

In the absence of consumer helpline, consumers can lodge their VAT-related complaint in person or via email or through letter with evidences.

Source: CONSUMER COUNCIL OF FIJI

 

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