IRC exceeds 2018 target

The Internal Revenue Commission says 2018 was a successful year for them as they had exceeded their tax collection target.

K7.9 billion was the 2018 budget target for the Internal Revenue Commission, or IRC.  

The Commissioner of Tax, Dr Alois Daton, said the IRC successfully collected and transferred K8 billion to the Waigani Public Account last year.

The total figure is 8.4 percent higher than government projections at the time of budget 2018, and 5.2 percent higher than government’s revised projections in the Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook.

“In terms of corporate income tax, we brought in K1.7 billion and that is 8 percent above 2017 collections,” outlined Dr Daton.

“In relation to salary and wages tax – this is where good employers pay their money in – we brought in K3.8 billion, which is 3 percent above the 2017 collections.”

Similarly, a rebound in global oil prices saw the IRC collect K774 million in mining and petroleum taxes compared to K113 million in 2017.

Dr Daton said however, income from areas like partnerships and personal income tax did not do too well, falling by 34 percent.

Apart from that, strong growth rates were registered in other forms of income, where dividend withholding tax increased by 12 percent, interest withholding tax by 25 percent while royalty withholding tax increased by 20 percent.

“There was also a massive increase in departure tax; departure tax is paid by international travelers and it’s APEC-related travel that was able to push the departure tax up. So that was double the amount we collected in 2017.”

Tax collections were also higher for bookmakers and gaming companies, indicating higher disposable incomes amongst the public in 2018.

“It appears that there is a lot more disposable income so Papua New Guineans had a lot more money to go and spend.”

The IRC said negative growth was recorded in management fee withholding tax, training levy and other sundry IRC receipts.

Their outstanding performance was attributed to the first year of reforms under the Medium Term Revenue Strategy, where the Commission increased its service capacity and public engagement.

(Commissioner of Tax, Dr Alois Daton)

Carmella Gware