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IRD income tax disadvantages citizens

DEAR EDITOR, I believe IRD Income Tax Act is all based on foreign concepts, foreign context and was generally a copy paste work.

IRD local staff need to innovate and very creative in order to develop an Income Tax Act which is contextualised to our own environment and standard of living.

As citizen of this country, it is sad to see local IRD staff trying to penalise its own people and citizen by implementing such adopted Foreign Income Tax laws to rip off hard work efforts of locals to earn sufficient income for their families.

Locals cannot succeed in businesses or standard of living if IRD department cannot assist locals to improve their income and livelihoods.

Our Income Tax Act must provide for and have incentives for local citizens in order to improve their wealth and wellbeing.

IRD is now implementing certain strategies to ensure they rip off as much as possible little incomes earned by local citizens instead IRD Commissioner should innovate around the Income Tax Act to find other best alternative ways to raise government revenue and not to victimise locals who are trying to make end meets by taking an easy path at the expense of citizens of this country.

Being a IRD Commissioner, you need to be creative and make best judgement for the government and its people.

Look at those much wealthier citizens and foreigners who are working and running big and successful businesses in the Solomon Islands but please don’t take advantage on ordinary citizens who tries to create little income from their very little resources such as farmers, contractors and services.

At present, it is very important that the Income Tax Act must be reviewed in order to contextualise it to Solomon Islands situation.

The current Income Tax Act is of foreign concept and copy paste from foreign principles and practices which some of them are irrelevant to Solomon Islands context.

The current Income Tax Act does not provide incentives and benefits to locals, citizens and indigenous people of this country but discriminate or disadvantage our people’s wellbeing and opportunity to improve our standard of living and wealth.

Generally, it is only designed to benefit the wealth of foreigners in this country.

One classic example is the PAYE tax bracket which does not differentiate rates for citizens and foreigners as all employees fall equally on the same tax rates on PAYE tax brackets.

It is a very clear common-sense and logic principle, where foreigners must pay more taxes than locals because our government has paid for the costs of all the infrastructures and public services in Solomon Islands whereby foreigners are using them for free.

Secondly the current Income Tax Act only provide for professional services and consultants category for foreigners with minimal rates and exclude locals/citizen of this country under this category.

Why is a Solomon Islander not given such a benefit and be eligible for professional consultant at minimal tax rate in your Income Tax Act like foreigners?

As Solomon Islanders, do you wish to see your wantoks getting poorer while foreigners getting wealthier in our country as implied under our own Income Tax Act?

Furthermore, our Income tax act is too foreign which could kill our people’s livelihoods while they try to make ends meet.

For example, any form of financial gain could be defined as all incomes whether a business or personal gain either from employment, services, products (agriculture, forestry, fishery, betelnuts etc.).

Therefore, if our Income Tax Act is not contextualised but foreign base, we will kill our own people who has sacrifice little they have for their families.

A good incentive for locals to support the government revenue from individual services and products incomes is on the category of withholding tax.

The definition and applications of withholding tax should be defined in a local Solomon Islands context; hence it should cover broader areas for locals’ personal income from services to products with the exclusion of normal wages and salary income.

The next following incentive for locals is to have reduce rates on PAYE formula as compared to foreigner employees.

Finally, as a local Solomon Islander, I wish to call on the Hon. Prime Minister, Hon. Minister of Finance and DCCG government to urgently review the Income Tax Act to best fit our local context and benefit the wellbeing of our own people.

This achievement could set the best ever benchmark status against the rest of the past governments and as one of your government best achievements for our citizens in your 4-year term in office.




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