Tax

Firms evade tax: Treasurer

Treasurer Charles Abel revealed that this problem seemed to be cropping up in a particular industry, hence the engagement of international experts.

Relating to income tax, Treasurer Charles Abel said a particular industry has been consistently declaring losses.

And this is one of the problem areas that will be looked at, now that PNG has entered into an agreement with the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD.

International experts to help with tax issues

PNG’s Treasury has entered into an agreement with the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development to see this through.

The Government has invited the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to assist them with some auditors to look at cross border transactions.

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, said these international taxation experts will also help the Internal Revenue Commission better manage the issue of multinational companies’ transactions.

DPM responds to Ling-Stuckey on tariffs

In an earlier analysis of tariff tax, Ling-Stuckey said over 70 new tax increases have been imposed by PNC from 1 January 2019.

This includes a 15 percent tax increase for wheat flour, additional tariff tax of K1.70 per kilogram on all imported fresh chicken pieces and a new 25 percent tariff on all creams, yogurt and ice-creams, including UHT milk.

However, in response, Abel said the tariff on flour only affects retail packaged imported flour.

TUC calls for tax regime overhaul

In a media conference on Sunday, TUC General Secretary, Clemence Kanau, said the tax issue will be a mainstay of TUC’s agenda this year.

He said while the government has announced in the 2019 Budget an increase in the ‘Tax Threshold,’ the rising cost of goods and services still remain a critical factor diminishing the purchasing power of workers.

Kanau said the tax regime has for far too long been a burden on the workers, and coupled with inflation moves them into the poverty line.

The TUC will make a strong stance against this.

Treasurer refutes income tax news report

He said a recent media report indicating that those who earn up to K12,500 a year will pay 22 percent is incorrect.

“Up to K12,500 a year is TAX FREE (increased from K10 thousand and previously from K6 thousand per year),” said Abel in his Alotau District Facebook page.

“From K12,500 to K20,000 is at 22 percent. From K20,000 to K33,000 is at 30 percent.

“For example, if you earn K33 thousand per year, the first K12,500 is tax free, the amount from K12,501 to K20,000 is taxed at 22 percent, and from K20,001 to K33,000 at 30 percent.

Government forcing up prices in 2019: Opposition

Shadow Minister for Treasury and Finance, Ian Ling-Stuckey, says over 70 new tax increases have been imposed from 1 January 2019.

“This includes a 15 percent tax increase for wheat flour used for making basic items such as bread – lifting the tariff level to a massive one-quarter of imported costs. You can get around this tariff increase, but only if you buy a bag of flour that weighs over 50 kilograms. This is economic lunacy!

IRC signs MoUs with provincial centres

The signing of the MOU with the Fly River Provincial Administration coincided with the official opening of a new IRC facility in Kiunga. The office space was allocated by the Fly River administration for its people to have easy access to IRC to make inquiries on tax matters, lodge documents relating to registrations, tax returns and pay their taxes.      

No tax change on cigarette, alcohol and luxury goods

Treasurer Charles Abel announced this in Parliament today when tabling the 2019 Money Plan.

The indexation excise rate on alcohol has been suspended for 18 months meaning that excise rates will be maintained at the 1st June 2018 levels and after 18 months, the excise rates will be reduced to a 2.5 percent increase every six (6) months.

For tobacco, the indexation excise rate will be suspended commencing 1st December 2018, and thereafter, reduced to 2.5 percent increase every six (6) months.

ExxonMobil evading tax, Opposition claims

According to a statement issued by Mr Pruaitch, he said there is no plausible reason why ExxonMobil, as the largest equity holder in the US$20 billion venture, has never been the single largest company tax payer since LNG exports commenced in 2014.

The Opposition leader stressed that as an unincorporated joint venture, all five joint venture partners, including Kumul Petroleum, adopt identical accounting standards so the share of profits and taxable income of each partner is broadly comparable and should reflect their individual equity holdings.

Opposition calls for tax explanation

Mr Pruaitch said the public is entitled to facts and not rhetoric explaining why Kumul’s tax figure for 2014 alone was much higher than the total tax paid by Kumul Petroleum for the three years to 2016.

The Opposition leader said the Internal Revenue Commission records released in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) annual reports show that the total tax paid to IRC by Kumul Petroleum in 2014, 2015 and 2016 was only K127.5 million, or K115 million less than what was due in 2014.