By HELEN TARAWA
THE Government will remove tax holidays and concessions enjoyed by large companies in a plan to boost its revenue collection in 2017, Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele says.
Those targeted include the big foreign firms in the petroleum and mining sector.
“We have to look at all these tax exemptions and concessions, and everything we do where people get away without paying tax,” he said.
“In good times, we can do those types of things (such as offering tax holidays). But in bad times we don’t.”
“All these project proposals seeking exemptions, such as in the petroleum and mining sector where everyone comes and asks for tax holidays where they are not paying taxes for 15 to 20 years, it is now over.”
Vele told the National Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council Development forum yesterday in Port Moresby that the Government would be strict particularly on large foreign project companies and foreign enterprises.
“They declare everything to the Bank of PNG so they get to see exactly where each kina, toea, dollar and cent is going,” he said.
Vele said the focus of next year’s budget to be handed down by Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch next month was on “revenue”.
“We are going to think of revenue. In good times, we think about spending and not earning. We are going to look at the kina and toea available in the economy and we are going to collect them,” he said.
“Sometimes, it’s just the issue of simple compliance. It’s just that the Internal Revenue Commission and Customs do not have the list of everybody in this country who should be paying taxes.
“Those of us who are paying tax, we are paying more than our shares.
“If we do something like a census, knocking from door to door and working out if they have tax file number, I’m sure not everybody has a tax file number. If we do that, we will work out how to process them later – at least let’s have a big list of everybody who should be in the net.” He said not everybody was “in the net”.
By HELEN TARAWA