By HELEN TARAWA
A TASKFORCE comprising relevant government agencies will be set up next year to carry out a major tax audit in an effort to recoup outstanding dues.
Internal Revenue Commissioner-General Betty Palaso said the taskforce would include Inland Revenue (IRC), Customs, Department of Labour and Employment and Immigration.
“Next year, there’s going to be a taskforce in place to assist with tax audit and we will be looking at how to make that work for us,” Palaso said.
Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari told the IRC staff last week that K10 million was allocated for the taskforce to be established.
He said the senior management team would be making a decision on recruiting people who would help with tax compliance and audits.
The taskforce will start its exercise in Port Moresby with audits and visit every shop and business to check on tax and tax file numbers.
“By law everyone is subject and must comply,” Lupari said.
“We shouldn’t be waiting for companies to submit their tax returns.
“We should be going after them.
“Every business, individual that is doing business in Port Moresby must be captured within the tax system.”
Palaso said Internal Revenue Commissioner would take court action against companies that failed to comply and if it meant getting to the level of liquidation, so be it. She said companies were usually issued assessment to indicate amount of tax to pay.
“We usually issue an assessment to them, indicating to them that there’s an amount of tax they must pay, so they have to comply,” Palaso said.
“Companies that don’t comply deliberately, they know they have to come in and lodge their tax returns and make their tax payments and liabilities.
“We are looking at taking court action and if we need to get to the stage of liquidation, then we’ll get to that level.
“We’ve been very lenient in the past and so now we need to apply the tax laws as they are including garnishing of their bank accounts.”
By HELEN TARAWA