Milne Bay recoups K2 million in taxes

National, Normal

The National, Friday 7th June 2013

 THE Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) will release about K2 million in revenue from goods and services tax (GST) to Milne Bay after the province changed a legislation.

The change to the law on the provincial sales and services tax was approved by the provincial assembly this week in the last of its sittings before the local level government elections.

Governor Titus Philemon had tabled the “Repeal of Milne Bay sales and services tax law” and replaced it with Milne Bay Alcohol and Tobacco charges law of 2013” bill which was approved. 

The commission had withheld Milne Bay’s share of the goods and services tax in the first six months this year, alleging it was double-dipping.

The claim of double-dipping arose after the provincial government introduced a sales and services tax on alcohol and tobacco products in the province last year. 

The IRC determined that Milne Bay was deemed to be receiving revenue from the national coffers and the provincial tax measure for alcohol and tobacco products.

Philemon said: “We need to take this pro-active step to ensure the province gets its share of the GST. 

“And the way forward is to repeal the provincial sales and services tax law of 2012 and replace  it with the Milne Bay Alcohol and Tobacco Charges law of 2013.

“It will enable the province to commence the imposition of provincial charges on alcohol and tobacco products traded in the province to raise revenue.

“We can use the money to improve infrastructure in health, law and order and social development.”

The changes to the law will enable the provincial government to earn internal revenues of up to K5 million every year.