11 Mar 2008

Fiji probe clears Chaudhry in tax case

2:44 pm on 11 March 2008

A committee investigating the tax matters of Fiji's interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, has cleared him of any wrong-doing.

The committee's report says it found that Mr Chaudhry did not breach the Exchange Control Act between 2000 and 2006 in relation to the tax assessment carried out by FIRCA.

Our correspondent in Suva, Matelita Ragogo, says the report states that there is no basis on which Mr Chaudhry should be charged with tax evasion.

"Basically they said there was a reasonable basis for FIRCA, the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority, to conclude that the principal sum paid into Mr Chaudhry's financial institution accounts in Australia and New Zealand were not taxable in Fiji, and that the imposition of a flat ten-percent penalty on Mr Chaudhry in respect of the undisclosed interest earned on his Australian and New Zealand financial institution accounts was consistent with FIRCA's policies and the treatment of other taxpayers in similar situations."