10 Jul 2017

American Samoa task force suggests new taxes

7:21 pm on 10 July 2017

A swathe of new or higher taxes, payroll deduction fees, a gradual reduction of excise tax on commercial imports and the end of the two-percent wage tax are among recommendations by the American Samoa Revenue Task Force

American Samoa's Legal Affairs Department

American Samoa's Legal Affairs Department Photo: RNZI/Monica Miller

According to the chairman of the task force, Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale, if all of their revenue suggestions were approved the government would raise US$27.5 million in additional revenue.

The task force plans to submit its package of revenue measures in the next regular session of the Fono, which begins today.

Talauega said the plan was to introduce a seven-percent sales tax on goods only, and gradually reduce some taxes such as the five-percent duty on imports for resale.

The task force would also recommend the elimination of the two-percent increase in the wage tax.

These would be carried out over a five year period.

At the same time new sin taxes would be introduced, for instance on juice and other sugary drinks, plus heavy equipment and construction related items.

Talauega said established businesses reporting no profits year-in-year-out would also be targeted.

He said such businesses would face taxation.