IRC needs staff tripled to tackle tasks

National

By HELEN TARAWA
THE Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) needs to triple its staffing from the current 530 to about 1500 to carry out its duties.
It has started advertising some positions and hopes to recruit up to 200 for a start.
Commissioner General Betty Palaso said the department’s workload had increased and the current staffing was unable to cope.
“With the new tax computer system we are rolling out, we are now able to track who has registered but has not lodged returns,” she told The National.
“There is such a huge amount of work to be done to run after all those people.
“Then there are those who have not registered yet.”
She said studies by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that for a country like PNG, the IRC should have at least a thousand employees.
“We are well below that so you can imagine how we are struggling.
“At the moment, we are moving people from one section. It’s like crisis management,” Palaso said.
“We need people who are appropriately allocated to the relevant areas to do the job.”
The IRC was unable to recruit this year as it did not have the financial resources.
With the chief secretary’s support, it had not started to do so.
“We have gone ahead and advertised, and recruitment has already been done internally,” Palaso said.
Treasury Secretary Dairy Vele said the Government aimed to collect every kina and toea due. He said IRC and PNG Customs Services must have a list of everybody in the country who should be paying taxes.
Palaso said the IRC had started going from door-to-door in Port Moresby, Lae and Buka to collect taxes.
“Again, it’s taking out a number of people from the normal day-to-day work to go out on this exercise in certain areas or taxpayers that we have identified that need to be visited. That also adds onto the workload that we already have,” she said.

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