IRC overhaul

TAX dodgers will be targeted after Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has revealed a whopping 2.1 billion kina ($US1 billion) in outstanding tax revenue is owed to the government.
IRC overhaul IRC overhaul IRC overhaul IRC overhaul IRC overhaul

The vast figure represents lost tax income going back many years and may be more than 5% of PNG's annual gross domestic product, according to various GDP estimates.

O'Neill consequently promised to strengthen the country's Internal Revenue Commission.

"The IRC has done well - year in, year out - in revenue collection despite capacity constraints and other issues confronting the organisation," O'Neill said.

"But it is unacceptable that our outstanding tax liability has been allowed to accumulate to such a high level.

"Everyone must pay their share of tax if they want to continue to live and do business in our country.

"Our government will ensure the IRC is sufficiently resourced to go out and collect those outstanding taxes."

IRC was urged to review its staff conditions and draw up a recruitment plan, even it requires skilled tax professionals to be brought in from overseas.

"A technical team is also to be set up immediately to focus solely on collecting the K2.1 billion outstanding tax liabilities," the PM's office said in a statement.

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