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$200m tax loss

Ropate Valemei
Saturday, February 02, 2013

THE Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority has estimated up to $200million in tax losses from the underground economy every year.

FRCA chief executive officer Jitoko Tikolevu said this money was lost every year from such activities that were unrecorded by their income accounting system.

He said a concern was the loss of tax revenue as underground activities escaped taxation.

"The estimation of underground economy could be $100million to $200million hypothetically. There is nothing captured in a formal way and it is difficult to estimate exactly what is the percentage of that to be collected annually," Mr Tikolevu said.

He said the benchmark for the developing economy could be as high as 30 per cent of GDP but a range of 5 to 15 per cent in developed economies.

"Over the years, we are trying to get exactly what is the percentage but we have not done the estimation yet. We have been contemplating but we have not done it."

However, he said the authority needed to work on that.

"There is a big sum out there still not collected."

Mr Tikolevu said this was common practice for developed and developing countries but developing countries seemed to have a big percentage of this economy.

"This holds in particular for developing economies and transition but also for high income economies like Australia and New Zealand."

The authority says such reaction makes government unable to finance the public goods necessary for an economy and society.





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