25 Sep 2003

Solomon Islands moves against tax abuse

4:18 pm on 25 September 2003

Inland revenue officials in Solomon Islands say there are a significant number of businesses that have evaded paying tax in the past.

A compliance manager, John Hayes, says while officials have information that a number of businesses have not registered as taxpayers, it's unclear how much tax revenue has been lost as a result.

He says the Inland Revenue Division of the Finance Department is on a drive to clean up its tax register and those who fail to come forward could face stiff penalties.

"If people don't come forward voluntarily we will be acting on some of the information that we have available and prosecution is always the last alternative, but yes it's a tool that we will have and may have to use if necessary."

Mr Hayes said the penalty for filing incorrect returns could be as high as 200 per cent and those who filed late payments would incur a 10 per cent penalty.