SUNBIZ

Talk Tax: Opening of Nausori Office

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) opened its 11th office in Nau­sori on Wednesday August 30. The office which is situated in the FDB building on the main street,
09 Sep 2017 11:00
Talk Tax: Opening of Nausori Office
Fiji Revenue and Customs chief executive officer Visvanath Das (left), and Commissioner Central Setareki Tale at the opening of the newly opened Revenue and Customs Service office in Nausori on August 30, 2017. Photo: Monica Aguilar

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) opened its 11th office in Nau­sori on Wednesday August 30.

The office which is situated in the FDB building on the main street, will provide Tax and Customs Service to the residents of Nausori and other surrounding villages/provinces.

The opening of the new office is part of the FRCS strategy to make its services more ac­cessible to the people. Opening this FRCS office in Nausori will make it easier for our customers to gain better access to our ser­vices as part of our wider campaign to bring Government closer to the people.

The organisation underwent a name change effective August 1, 2017, from the previous Fiji Revenue and Customs Author­ity (FRCA) to the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS).

The intention of the name change is to fo­cus and embed a service culture that will deliver more effective and efficient services to all our Customers.

Nausori office

The new Nausori office employs eight staff members, four Tax staff, three Customs Of­ficers and a joint ID card officer.

Partnership approach

Partnership is one of our key strategic Fo­cus areas outlined in our three-year Strate­gic plan and we anticipate that the opening of our Nausori office will also enable us to work more closely with the business com­munity and people of Fiji.

There are approximately 150,000 taxpay­ers in the Rewa, Tailevu and Naitasiri prov­inces who will benefit from our Nausori office and as a result these people will no longer have to travel long distance to Suva to visit the Revenue & Customs office.

Our Eastern division taxpayer base also consists of 5,386 businesses, 574 compa­nies and 3336 importers.

In terms of revenue contribution to Fiji’s economy we estimate that the total tax and customs revenue generated from these three Provinces is be valued at approximate­ly $39.5 million dollars annually.

FRCS values your tax contributions and will be making every effort to work more closely with you all to ensure that together we all help grow our Fijian economy.

Business community

The business community in Nausori have praised the opening of the new branch with­in the town. Niyaz Mohammed, a district ad­visory councilor and president for the Nau­sori Taxi Association said he is very happy with the opening of the new branch.

“We are extremely happy about the ser­vices which the Government is providing, especially this Revenue and Customs office. Previously we had to travel to Suva for the renewal of our taxi permits and tax compli­ance letters. Now we can do it here. We will save a lot of time and money,” Mohammed said.

“We have been requesting the government and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service to open an office here and we are thankful that our prayers have finally been answered.

“Not only the businesses but a normal per­son will no longer have to spend money to travel to Suva.

“It’s just a sigh of relief.”

Other businessmen present during the opening, also echoed similar sentiments.

Services at your doorstep

Commissioner Central Setareki Tale who was also present at the opening ceremony, commended the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service for bringing its services to Nausori.

He stated that the people of Tailevu, Naita­siri and Rewa will no longer have to fork out extra money to travel to Suva to seek their services any more. Neither they will have to sleep over at their relatives place to seek services. These are some of the challenges which people from these provinces faced before.

Mr Tale further revealed that the office is part of the governments initiatives to decen­tralize the services to ensure that the peo­ple who are unable to access these types of services, have it at their doorstep, without incurring any expenses.

Voluntary compliance

With the opening of these office, we expect our taxpayers to voluntary comply with their tax obligations. We want to build a healthy relationship with taxpayers.

A relationship of “Trust”. We at the Reve­nue and Customs constantly review our tax and customs legislations and processes for ease of doing business in Fiji.

We have even introduced the VAT self –as­sessment whereby we take the figures on the VAT returns as face value. We also re­quest the tax agents to follow proper pro­cedure while filing tax returns on behalf of their clients.

Some prominent accounting firms in the country have been found to be involved with certain businesses to defraud the govern­ment.

It is rather unfortunate that certain busi­nesses seek the services of the accountants in order to prepare their financial books in such a way so they can defraud the gov­ernment and to avoid paying their share of taxes. Individuals and companies who are found guilty of defrauding the government can face penalties or jail term.

Going forward

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service will implement a number of technological changes with regards to the payment of taxes and improving its processes and time­lines.

One of the main areas currently being looked into is the Electronic payments and lodgment of returns.

This will enable our taxpayers to make a payment from anywhere as long as you have an Internet or phone connection, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When you file your returns online, you are creating a permanent electronic record for your use in the future.

If a question comes up about your tax re­turn, you will not have to dig through filing cabinets or giant stacks of paper. Instead, you can pull up your information on your computer and get to work right away.

Whilst we have imposed severe penalties and fines for tax offenders, FRCS is com­mitted to implement processes for ease of doing business in Fiji, however, this comes with much trust and honesty on the part of businesses to be voluntarily compliant.

FRCS is here to administer the tax and Customs laws and it is our duty to ensure fairness and consistency in application of the law thus creating a level playing field for all taxpayers. Non-compliant taxpayers will face the full brunt of the law.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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