Solomon Islands Acting Commissioner of Inland Revenue, George Tapo has noted with concern the low level of awareness of an important tax change among people who participated in the 2013 SIG RAMSI People’s Survey.
In December 2011, Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon Rick Hou, announced that from 1 January 2012, the personal income tax exemption would increase from $7,800 to $15,080.
Inland Revenue worked at that time with employers to ensure that employees would immediately benefit from the increased exemption so that workers earning $580 or less per fortnight would have no PAYE deducted from their earnings.
However, only 8% of survey respondents knew about the new tax threshold, which was a positive change for all individual taxpayers.
Although only 17% of survey respondents had earned $15,000 or more in one year, Mr Tapo expressed concern that so many people do not know when they should start to pay tax on their earnings.
Mr Tapo said he will ensure that Inland Revenue’s Taxpayer Education Team emphasizes the change when they are dealing with individuals who should benefit from the increased exemption and employers who should be deducting the correct amount of tax from their employees.
Information about the change is on Inland Revenue’s website at www.ird.gov.sb and included in the PAYE Tax Tables.
All individual taxpayers benefit from the personal income tax exemption, Mr Tapo said, that is employees and all those who earn an income from their personal efforts, such as sole traders.
The effect of the exemption is that no tax is paid on income up to $15,080 a year. For income earned over $15,080 the rates are as follows:
$1 - $15,000 11%
$15,001 - $30,000 $1,650 + 23% of the excess
$30,001 - $60,000 $5,100 + 35% of the excess
$60,001 and over $15,600 + 40% of the excess
Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit