Panel set to review tax regime

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 02nd April, 2013

A SIX-strong eminent persons panel led by former Internal Revenue Commissioner Sir Nagora Bogan will review Papua New Guinea’s tax regime, Treasurer Don Polye  said.
Sir Nagora’s deputy on the panel will be David Sode, also a former Internal Revenue Commissioner.
The rest of the panel include former Australian Treasurer Peter Costello, former Milne Bay governor John Luke Crittin, International Food Corporation chief executive Carolyn Blackwood and long-time Internal Revenue Commission employee John Lohberger.
“All taxation systems need to be re-evaluated from time to time to ensure that the system works effectively to provide the revenue to provide government services to the people of Papua New Guinea,” Polye told a press conference in Port Moresby last Thursday.
“We also need a taxation system that encourages investment and provides certainty to investors, a taxation system that provides for effective administration compliance and fairness.”
The panel began work yesterday and is expected to submit its final report on June 30.
Polye said the panel would look at all aspects of the tax regime to improve effectiveness and efficiency, enhance fairness and simplicity of the taxation system, and expand and diversify the tax base, including hard to tax sectors of the economy.
It will look into the areas of personal tax, tax administration and compliance, corporate tax, mining and hydrocarbon tax, excise and tariff, operation and efficiency of value-added tax, tax and fiscal policy formulation, efficiency of tax incentives, tax incentives for agriculture, tourism and hospitality industry, and growing of small to medium enterprises.
“It is essential for a growing economy that our tax system is truly home-grown and effective in raising revenue to provide services and infrastructure for the future of Papua New Guinea,” Polye said.
He said the mining and hydrocarbon tax review, being done by a technical team from the International Monetary Fund, would be presented to the panel to ensure it was fully integrated into the review process.
Polye said the team would look at some of the best practices in the world today and it was hoped that its recommendations could be introduced in next year’s budget.
Costello has been responsible for the implementation of Australia’s goods and services tax and the country’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.
He is also chairman of the World Bank’s advisory board and will provide high-level advice to the panel as required.
Sode is now the chief executive of the PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd.