Conference focuses on emerging issues for administrators

Participants at the 39th CATA technical conference which is being held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort and Spa, Nadi. Picture: SUPPLIED

THERE is a growing appetite from taxpayers for digital services and the emergence of new business models consequent to globalisation impacting our tax system, says Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators president representative Abu Tariq Jamaluddin.

He made the statement at the 39th CATA technical conference which is being held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort and Spa, Nadi, Fiji from November 12 – 16, 2018.

This year Fiji is hosting the CATA conference with the theme “Building Sustainability and Resilience in Tax Administration”.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service CEO Visvanath Das delivered Fiji’s opening remarks said that “the theme for the conference was befitting for the fast evolving and competitive environment of the 21st century”.

“Despite our geographical locations and differences, we all operate in environments that are void of certainty and predictability; where the ever changing role and mandate of tax administrations creates the need for constant organisational reforms to enable us to respond to new and emerging challenges in a timely manner.

“One emerging issue which tax administrations have traditionally shied away from is in communications and how we improve and enhance our services to our customers, through use of various mediums to ensure we encourage voluntary compliance,” he said.

Meanwhile the executive director of CATA, Duncan Onduru said “this annual CATA event has over the years been used as a global pulse to reflect on how members can best respond to emerging challenges in the area of tax.

“Today, most of the tax administrations have many areas of convergence both in their governance and operational structures, thanks to this event”.

Mr Onduru said on the global arena, majority of their member countries were grappling with numerous issues.

He said the major consequent had been the inability of revenue mobilisation to meet the developmental needs putting pressure on tax administrations to plug the huge fiscal deficits which called for building sustainability and resilience in tax administration to confront these challenges — hence the theme for this year’s conference.

A statement from Fiji Revenue and Customs Service said 33 Commonwealth countries comprised 135 delegates are attending the conference including the CATA president representative Mr Jamaluddin, outgoing chairman of CATA representative Dhanraj Ramdin, vice chair of CATA Jon Swerdlow, Mr Onduru, Minister for Revenue, Samoa Tialavea John Hunt and Associate Minister for Revenue, Samoa Afioga Lenatai Victor Tamapua.

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