Revenue & Customs calls in companies with late taxes for a chat instead of going straight to court

    Hon. Tēvita Lavemaau. Photo/Soane Gallagher Niukapu

    The Minister of Revenue and Customs, Hon. Tevita Lavemaau, has stopped referral of any cases related to late payment of taxes and PAYE to court unless he personally approves them.

    This means some companies and businesses in Tonga which have outstanding tax bills have relaxed because the Revenue Ministry will now invite them to discuss their cases first without going directly to court.

    Kaniva News understands the move was made by the minister as an attempt to solve the problems caused by the cost of investigating tax arrears.

    It is understood the department has lost a lot of money when prosecuting businesses and companies because of legal costs and court fees.

    In an e-mail sent by Hon. Lavemaau to his heads of department and CEOs on April 2, the minister said he wanted to build a good working relationship with the department’s clientele rather than making them enemies of the government because of their unpaid arrears.

    The e-mail, which has been seen by Kaniva News, said the new strategy meant all cases would be assessed on a case by case basis and would depend on the minister’s approval.

    “It is my strong belief that we need to promote a good relationship with our clientele especially to support our move to Voluntary Compliance,” Hon. Lavemaau said in the e-mail.

    “It takes time and tireless effort to get them on-board. However, the long term benefits for our economy is enormous. We need to build the trust and confidence of the business community in us by getting out there and discussing with them the various issues and concerns that we have, such as non-registration for CT, Late Payment of CT and PAYE.

    “Discuss with them the alternatives solutions and wider implications if we take the force of law on our hands. Get them on-board.

    “As from April onward I would urge you all to take a new route and strategy as briefly explained above.

    “Further I would like to cease referral of any cases to Tribunal and Court without any prior approval. This mechanism is only to apply as a matter of last resort.”

    The main points

    • Some Tongan companies with unpaid taxes are sleeping easier this year because the Ministry of Revenue and Customs has decided to invite them to discuss their cases without going directly to court.
    • The decision was made by Minister of Inland Revenue Hon. Tevita Lavemaau in an e-mail revenue staff in April.
    • The minister has stopped the referral of any cases related to late payment of taxes and PAYE to court unless he personally approves them.
    • Kaniva News understands the move was made by the minister as an attempt to solve the problems caused by the cost of investigating tax arrears.

    For more information

    Ministry of Revenue and Customs

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo taʻofi ʻe he Minisitā ki he Tānaki Paʻangá mo e Kasitomú, Tēvita Lavemaau hano toe ʻave ʻo ha keisi kau ki he totongi tōmui ʻo e tukuhaú mo e PAYE pehē ki he ʻikai lēsisita ki he CT ki he fakamaauʻangá kae ʻoua leva ke ne toki fakangofua.

      ʻOku ongoʻi mānava lelei heni ʻa e ngaahi kautaha mo e ʻū pisinisi ʻoku ʻi ai honau ngaahi moʻuá koeʻuhi he ʻe fakaafeʻi kinautolu ʻe he Potungāue Tānaki Paʻangá ke nau aleaʻi honau ngaahi moʻuá kae ʻoua ʻe ʻalu hangatonu ki he fakamaauʻangá.

      Ne kamata ʻeni ʻi he māhina ʻEpelelí, pea ʻoku mahino ki he Kanivá ko e foʻi ngaʻunu ko ʻení ʻa e minisitaá ko e feinga ke solova e fakakavenga fakapaʻanga ʻoku toe fua ia ʻe heʻene potungāué ʻi hono fakatotoloʻi ʻo e ngaahi moʻuá.

      ʻOku mahino foki ʻoku mole lahi ʻa e potungāue ko ʻení ʻi hono fakaʻilo ʻo e ngaahi pisinisí mo e ngaahi kautaha ʻoku ʻi ai honau ngaahi moʻuá koeʻuhi ko e ngaahi fakamole fakalao mo e totongi fakafakamaauʻangá.
      ʻI ha ʻīmeili ne tuku mai ʻe ʻOnapolo Lavemaau ki heʻene kauʻuluʻi potungāué mo CEO ʻi ʻEpeleli ʻaho 2 ne pehē ʻe he minisitaá ʻokú ne fiemaʻu ke langa ha vā fengāueʻaki lelei mo e ngaahi sino ʻoku nau totongi tukuhau angé ka e ʻikai ko e hangē ʻoku nau fili mo e puleʻangá tuʻunga ʻi honau ngaahi moʻua taʻe totongí.

      Ko e ʻīmeili ko ʻení ʻa ia ne sio ai e ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá ne pehē ko e founga foʻou ko ʻeni ʻe makatuʻunga fakafoʻi keisi pē pea ʻe toki makatuʻunga pē ʻi hano toki tali ʻe he minisitaá.

      Naʻe toe pehē foki ko e faingamālie ko ʻení ʻe toki ngāueʻaki pe ka ʻikai ha toe lava ʻa e ngaahi founga ngāue kehe ki hono tānaki ʻo e ngaahi moʻuá.

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here