Nine hundred and thirty four workers earning $16,000 and below will from 1 Jan 2013 will be exempted from paying income tax which will cost the Govt $11.6million in revenue.
This is an increase from $15,600 for 2012. The Govt will also remove all personal taxable allowances to facilitate the implementation of the PAYE Final Tax system from 2013.
The change is largely to balance social with economic growth in the country. The income tax threshold has doubled since 2007 when it was $8840.
In another highlight of the 2013 budget, Eastern Viti Levu or from Korovou to Tavua has been declared a tax free region to encourage new investment. The benefits of investing in this region include a tax holiday of 13 years, tax holiday for 20 years if investing in the dairy industry. Companies investing in the dairy industry will also enjoy import duty exemption on the importation of raw materials, machinery and equipment (including parts and materials) purchased for the establishment of the business for 12 months from the date of approval. However, companies have to be newly incorporated with a minimum investment of $1million.
Summary Revenues policies for 2013 budget
- Foreign companies that establishes/relocates its Headquarters to Fiji will be subject to a low corporate tax rate of 17 per cent which is now one of the lowest in the region.
- Newly listed companies on the South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE) to enjoy a low corporate tax rate of 18.5 per cent provided the company has 40 per cent local shareholding structure.
- To promote growth in the exports sector, the Export Income Deduction will be retained at 40 per cent in 2013.
- To promote employment creation, the Employment Taxation Scheme (150 per cent deduction) will be extended to 2014.
- 150 per cent and 200 per cent tax deductions for donation of computers to schools will be available with the following features:
: 200 per cent tax deduction relates to donation to schools in rural areas
: 150 per cent tax deduction relates to donation to schools in urban areas
: Applies to new Personal Computers, laptops and tablets
: Donations to be between $10,000 and $100,000
- To promote tax compliance, the definition of income in the Income Tax Act to be clarified to include unidentified deposits in family member accounts.
- To promote tax compliance and to provide an opportunity for non-resident taxpayers to claim foreign tax credit in their home country (provided the country being a Double Tax Agreement (DTA) country), the following 2changes will be done to the Social Responsibility Levy regimes:
- The Social Responsibility Levy (SRL) to be renamed as Social Responsibility Tax (SRT)
- The SRT for Resident and Non-Resident taxpayers will be calculates using incremental system
VALUE ADDED TAX DECREE
- External funded projects, which are channeled through Ministry of Finance will be exempted from VAT
SERVICE TURNOVER TAX (STT) DECREE
- To promote compliance with STT Decree, the following 2 amendments will be done in 2013:
a) Persons or agents receiving rental money on behalf of home stay owners are accountable to pay FRCA the 5 per cent Service Turnover Tax every month with the net amount paid to the home stay owners.
b) Lodgments of STT returns by home stay owners or their agents
STAMP DUTY ACT
- Stamp duty rates on all instruments will be increased threefold. No major review of the rates have taken place prior to the 2013 budget.
CREDIT CARD LEVY
- The computation of the Credit Card Levy to be based on individual credit card holders billing cycle.