‘Simpler and faster’ Papua New Guinea tax system on its way?


Electronic submission of tax returns and assessments, and a simpler Papua New Guinea tax system are just two of the measures to be delivered under the Internal Revenue Commission’s (IRC) new 2013 to 2017 corporate plan, launched last month.

irc-logo‘This five year plan is aimed at improving core business and governance processes to increase efficiency and transparency while improving taxpayer interfaces and broadening the tax base,’ notes David Caradus, Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers PNG.

‘One of the key development areas is the introduction of the IRC’s new Revenue Accounting System. The project is intended to deliver, amongst other things, electronic submission of tax returns and assessments and the ability to electronically transfer funds between the IRC and taxpayers.’

One of IRC’s goals will be to introduce self-assessment for tax liabilities, and a simplification of current tax laws. Self-assessment will free the IRC to focus on auditing high-risk taxpayers.

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PWC's David Caradus

PWC’s David Caradus

‘There is no doubt that the move towards a simpler and faster administration of the tax system will be welcomed by taxpayers and tax professionals in PNG,’ says Caradus, who nevertheless adds a note of caution:

‘The fact that past returns of many taxpayers remain unassessed and past disputes remain unresolved also represent a considerable workload of matters, which should be addressed before adopting the new system. One of the many challenges facing the IRC will be the investment in its human capital to ensure it has the expertise needed for future operations.”

The changes are flagged to be introducing gradually from 2014.