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Supermarkets, Chemists First In VAT Monitoring List

Supermarkets and pharmacies will be the first two segments in the retail sector expected to become fully compliant with the newly launched VAT Monitoring system. This first roll-out is expected
15 Jun 2017 13:06
Supermarkets, Chemists First In VAT Monitoring List
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority staff at the FRCA building complex on June 14, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau.

Supermarkets and pharmacies will be the first two segments in the retail sector expected to become fully compliant with the newly launched VAT Monitoring system.

This first roll-out is expected to be completed by December.

Smaller businesses will be included in the second roll-out.

The VAT Monitoring System links Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority to cash registers where retail and wholesale transactions are reported automatically and in real time.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority chief executive officer Visvanath Das said the objective of the system is to have efficient and reliable software to encourage voluntary tax compliance. Revenue collection remains a big part of the process given that Fiji recorded a net worth of $716 million in the black economy in a 2010 World Bank report.

While there is high expectation of increased revenue once businesses become compliant, Mr Das said they’ve observed a change in compliance behaviour.

This comes in the form of sales suppression softwares.

“With the point of sale systems that are around, there is also sales suppression software whereby you could be well operating on a point of sale and everything is going to the system and technology provides that opportunity – you can have these softwares implemented in your system which completely deletes the whole transactions.”

To address this global trend, Mr Das said they have introduced a protocol or accreditation process whereby all Point of Sale devices are to be certified by FRCA.

This is to ensure that in the event the Point Of Sale goes down or some tampering happens or some cash register is switched off, FRCA will be able to get real time information and at the same time send out an alert.

Mr Das said his team have taken some guidance from Belgium where the system works effectively.

“We have taken guidance on the Point of Sales operations, the phantom ware and all these things that are out there.  Now we can see the value of taking a holistic approach.”

While launching the VAT Monitoring System yesterday, Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Fijians ultimately suffer when the economy does not grow.

“We want business to make money, we want them to make a revenue,  but when the system is such that it allows people to skewer it than the benefits of what the Government is doing does not get passed on to everyone else.

“It does not empower Fijians, it does not lead to economic development or economic growth.”

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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