12 Jan 2017

Cook Islands chamber of commerce raises concerns about tax amnesty

7:51 pm on 12 January 2017

The Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce says it is concerned about the signals a proposed amnesty, on penalties for not paying tax, sends to taxpayers.

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Photo: 123rf

Prime minister Henry Puna announced the amnesty last year in his Christmas message.

In a statement Chamber of Commerce president, Steve Lyon, said if the proposal involved inequity in the tax system the Chamber would oppose it and challenge government's ability to implement it.

Mr Lyon said tampering with laws that govern tax without due consideration for equity could endanger the entire Cook Islands economy.

He said it could also undermine confidence in the integrity of government and have a negative impact on how the Cook Islands is perceived by prospective investors and regional and international donors.

Steve Lyon also noted that the prime minister's announcement was at odds with recent statements by the Finance minister and the work being undertaken by his ministry to encourage and support universal tax compliance.

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