Understanding business is critical, says Das

Ministry of Defence and National Security Alipate Naulivou (right) attend the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services Private Sector Engagement Conference at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa in Nadi yesterday. Picture REINAL CHAND

UNDERSTANDING the behaviour of companies in terms of tax compliance will help reduce illegal activity in import and export transactions. This was the word from Fiji Revenue and Customs Service CEO Visvanath Das during a press conference in Nadi this week.

“We have a program for private sector engagement but at this juncture it is about raising that program up another level,” he said.

“The good thing is — at least in Fiji’s context — we have all the stakeholders at the table for a discussion. “But the challenge is, while we sit at the same table for discussion, do we have that same level of trust and confidence to have business engage in voluntary compliance — that is a challenge.

“And that’s where the tax office and customs administration data comes into play to understand the certain behaviours of the private sector. “We also have to understand their need. I think there is a lack of understanding in that, if we don’t understand the need then we won’t understand why the customer behaves in a certain way.”

Mr Das said FRCS was looking at increasing the number of engagements with the private sector in a bid to better understand their needs.