THE final consultation on the draft Income Tax Decree was held in Suva yesterday between Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) and stakeholders to discuss salient features of the proposed new legislation.
FRCA chief executive officer Jitoko Tikolevu said the new tax law would be simplified and was developed based on modern taxation principles.
"The new tax law was long overdue and since the introduction of the Income Tax Act in 1974, there has not been any major review. The Income Tax Decree will assist in simple interpretation," Mr Tikolevu said in a statement.
He emphasised that consultations with stakeholders were necessary to ensure a tax law that was easily administered by FRCA and taxpayers.
He added the new tax law would promote economic development, especially at a time when the government had announced a very forward looking budget.
Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association (FIHTA) president Dixon Seeto said the association was particularly pleased that some of their concerns on fringe benefits were addressed in the draft decree.
"We will circulate the draft decree for comments from members of the association," he said.
Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) chief executive Nesbitt Hazelman said the review of the Income Tax Act was long overdue and "we are thankful that we have been given an opportunity to be consulted in the review".
"We need to ensure that policies do not negate growth, which can at times frustrate investors," he said.
Chairman of the FCEF Mining and Quarrying Committee Harvey Probert said a lot of issues were raised during the consultation, which could be easily fixed.
Mr Probert said it was important to understand the intent of the legislation and that this was understood by the practitioners.
Fiji Chamber of Commerce (FCC) president Doctor Nur Bano Ali said this was a proactive move by FRCA to include its stakeholders, and agreed with Mr Probert that intent of the laws be understood.
Mr Tikolevu said the authority had obtained the services of Professor Lee Burns from Australia through the assistance of the International Monetary Fund to rewrite the decree.