Solomon Islands Commissioner of Inland Revenue made clear today that companies contracted by RAMSI are not exempted from paying tax to the Solomon Islands Government.

The Commissioner, Mr Andrew Minto, said it was important that everyone understood this after several misleading reports in the media recently had suggested otherwise.

"Any company that is earning an income from the Solomon Islands must file tax returns and pay income tax on the profits derived in this country," Mr Minto said.
"It is the Inland Revenue Division's responsibility to ensure that these companies understand and meet their obligations."

Mr Minto said that Inland Revenue had been working for several years now with RAMSI to ensure that everyone including the companies are very clear on their tax status.

"The Facilitation of International Assistance Act which covers RAMSI's presence in the Solomon Islands is very clear and specific on the types of exemptions that are available to a "visiting contingent" and it does not cover income tax payable by companies engaged by RAMSI," the Commissioner said.

Tax exemptions apply only for goods imported for RAMSI's use, not for the companies themselves.

"It is not only important that these companies pay tax in the Solomon Islands it is also important that other companies operating within the country are aware that an even handed approach is being taken to tax administration," Mr Minto said.