Gov’t denies Talaki newspaper article claiming Deputy PM owes TP$1million taxes

Toho'i hifo e scroll bar 'oku 'i lalo 'osi 'a e ongongo 'i he lea 'Ingilisi' ha fakamatala faka-Tonga mei he Potungāue Tānaki Pa'anga' mo e Tute'.

The Ministry of Revenue and Customs has denied an article by Talaki newspaper printed on 8 May 2018 claiming the Deputy Prime Minister Sēmisi Sika owed the government millions of pa’anga in taxes.

The Ministry’s Acting CEO said in a statement that the article was “false.”

Kaniva News was unable to obtain a copy of the Talaki article.

However, we have seen a similar article published in Tongan by the Nepituno webpage on April 27, 2018 about a week before the Talaki.

The Ministry was contacted about the Nepituno article.

Nepituno claimed Hon Sika owed more than TP$1 million in taxes to government.

The headline of the article alleged the Prime Minister and the Minister of Revenue and Customs attempted to conceal Hon Sika’s unpaid taxes.

The article claimed it obtained its information from a highly placed source.

Nepituno also alleged the former CEO of the Ministry of Revenue and Customs arranged Hon Sika’s debts to be recovered, but the arrangement was withheld after he learned the Prime Minister and his son in law, who is the current Minister of Revenue and Customs, were not happy about it.

This morning the Ministry’s Acting CEO said the  “rumour” was false.

“The Ministry of Revenue and Customs would like to clarify that the contents of the article published on the Talaki Newspaper, issue of the 8th May 2018, page 3, claiming that the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Semisi Sika owes tax to Government in the millions, is false,” the Acting CEO said.

Talaki in the same article also reports rumours exchanged on social media that there was directions from high officials in Government for the Ministry not to initiate court recovery of the “millions of tax owed”.

“The Ministry would like to remind the public that there are processes followed by the Ministry in recovering outstanding tax and these processes apply to all taxpayers regardless of social and political status.

“It is disappointing that these false and misleading information are being shared on social media and published in local newspapers without confirmation or authority of the Ministry.

“The Ministry would also like to emphasize to the public that tax information of taxpayers are confidential and would only be disclosed in circumstance specified in the law.

“This protects the interest and confidence of taxpayers that their personal income information are securely kept by the Ministry.

“It is then the duty of the Ministry to ensure that the correct tax is assessed and paid according to the tax information provided by the taxpayer or collected by the Ministry.”

1 COMMENT

  1. ONGOONGO ‘I HE NUSIPEPA TALAKI, ‘AHO 8 ME 2018 FEKAU’AKI MO E TUKUHAU ‘A E TOKONI PALEMIA, HON. SEMISI SIKA
    ‘Oku faka’amu ‘a e Potungaue Tanaki Pa’anga Hu Mai mo e Tute ke fakama’ala’ala atu ‘a e ongoongo ‘i he Nusipepa Talaki ‘o e ‘aho 8 ‘o Me 2018 ‘i he peesi 3 ‘o fekau’aki mo hono tukuaki’i ‘oku ‘i ai ‘a e mo’ua tukuhau lau miliona ‘a e Tokoni Palemia, Hon. Semisi Sika. Ko e ongoongo ko ‘eni ‘oku loi ia pea ne takihala’i ‘a e kakai ‘o e fonua.
    ‘Oku toe pehe foki ‘e he Talaki ‘i he ongoongo tatau na’e ‘i ai ‘a e tu’utu’uni atu ‘a e Pule’anga ki he Potungaue ke ‘oua na’a fakahoko ha faka’ilo ‘o e Tokoni Palemia ‘i he me’a ni. ‘Oku fie fakaha atu heni ‘oku loi mo e ongoongo ko ‘eni.
    ‘Oku fie fakamanatu heni ‘e he Potungaue ki he kakai ‘o e fonua, ‘oku ‘i ai ‘a e ngaahi founga ngaue ‘oku ngaue’aki ki hono tanaki ‘o e tukuhau ‘oku totonu ke tanaki pea ‘oku ngaue’aki ‘a e ngaahi founga ko ‘eni ki he taha totongi tukuhau kotoa pe ‘o tatau ai pe pe koe ha hono tu’unga ‘i he sosaieti mo e Pule’anga. ‘Oku toe fakame’apango’ia foki ‘a e Potungaue ‘i hono fe’ave’aki ‘o e ngaahi ongoongo loi ni ‘i he ngaahi mitia fakasosiale pea pulusi ‘i he nusipepa te’eki ke fakangofua atu pe ‘oatu ‘e he Potungaue hano fakama’ala’ala.
    ‘Oku fakamamafa’i atu ai pe ki he kakai ‘o e fonua, ko e fakamatala tukuhau ‘a e tokotaha tukuhau kotoa pe ‘oku ‘ikai ha totonu ‘a ha taha kehe ke ‘ilo ki ai tukukehe ‘a e ngaahi taimi ‘oku fiema’u ke fakaha ai ‘o fakatatau ki he lao. ‘Oku tokoni ‘eni tauhi ‘a e falala ‘a e taha tukuhau kotoa pe ‘oku malu ‘ene ngaahi fakamatala pa’anga. Ko e toki fatongia leva ia ‘o e Potungaue ‘a hono fakapapau’i ‘oku tonu hono fika’i ‘o e tukuhau ‘o fakatatau ki he ngaahi fakamatala ‘oku ‘omai ‘e he taha tukuhau pe tanaki ‘e he Potungaue pea mo totongi mai ‘a e tukuhau ‘oku totonu ke totongi.

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