Revenue and Customs

MINISTRY OF REVENUE & CUSTOMS

WHO ARE WE

The Inland Revenue Division (IRD) of the Ministry of Revenue is responsible for the collection of tax revenue for the government. The IRD works closely with all sectors of the economy to ensure they understand the tax system as well as legal requirements.

OUR MISSION

  • Maximise on a timely basis the collection of government revenue. Revenue collection is the most significant function of the IRD Resources are employed to gear up revenue collection effectively and efficiently.
  • To improve, encourage and strengthen compliance with the tax legislations and regulations. The backbone of IRD tax administration is to develop incentives convincing taxpayers of the mutual benefits of voluntary compliance with all tax legislation.
  • Quick, responsive and impartial in servicing taxpayers. IRD must act quickly in servicing taxpayers, collecting revenue and must be impartial in carrying out their tasks.
  • Deal innovatory with non-compliance, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Tax evasion and avoidance are two major constraints facing IRD, and the Department must act appropriately and innovatory with these problems.

 

EXECUTIVE STRUCTURE

MINISTER FOR REVENUE & CUSTOMS: Hon. Tevita Lavemaau

CEO OF REVENUE & CUSTOMS: Mr. 'Anisi Bloomfield

DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMS: Mr. Kelemete vahe

 

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

The Divisions are: Large Business, Small Business, Technical Services and Corporate Services.

ROLES & FUNCTION

The major role of IR is to collect taxes to fund Government's operations. This role must be carried out in such a way that the IR administration is recognised as being fair and carrying out its duties with integrity and a high level of professionalism.

The basic functions of IRD includes:

  • Administering of tax legislation and regulations.
  • Collecting of all tax revenues due to the Government in accordance with the Tax legislation.
  • Issuing of taxpayer's tax assessments.
  • Settling of taxpayer's objections by taxpayers in accordance with tax legislation
  • Providing tax services and assistance to taxpayers.

LEGISLATION

IRD operates within the following legislation:

  • Income Tax Act (2007)
  • Revenue Services Administration Act (2002) as amended
  • Consumption Tax Act (2003) as amended
  • Public Finance management Act (2002)

REVENUE HEAD OFFICE IN NUKU'ALOFA:

QUEENS SALOTE EX-STUDENTS CENTER
Railway Rd
P.O Box 7
Nuku'alofa
Ph: +676 23 444
Fax: +676 26 638

Vava'u Regional Office:

REVENUE OFFICE
P.O Box 114
Neiafu/ Vava'u
Ph: +676 70 034
Fax: +676 70 857

Ha'apai Regional Office:

REVENUE OFFICE
Holopeka Rd.
Pangai, Ha'apai
Ph: +676 60 456

Enquiries: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: www.revenue.gov.to



Commissioner and Head of Customs replies to the allegations article published on Tonga Taimi website

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4th February 2011. Commissioner and Head of Customs replies to the allegations of corruption contained in the article "Tonga Customs still plagued by corruption allegations" on the Tonga Taimi website dated the 3rd February 2011.

1. The Commissioner totally rejects the allegations of corruption and says that it lacks factual basis and the article has been written as a result of discontent by Customs Officer Vehitau Ma'ukie.

2. It has arisen over an acting appointment issue which Ma'ukie believed that he was obtaining promotion in an acting capacity rather than any problem of corruption within the Ministry.

3. On or about the 11th November 2010, Vehitau Ma'ukie was appointed in AN acting capacity to assist Peter Nash, the Deputy-Commissioner for Customs, for a period of 6 months. Unfortunately the appointment was made by the Prime Minister at the time who was acting as Chief Commissioner without consulting the Head of Revenue ministry. Peter Nash's contract was due to expire in 6 weeks time on the 31st December 2010 (not 6 months).

4. At the same time Kelemite Vahe was directed to take his leave entitlement which expired on or about the 4th January 2011. It would appear that the purpose of Vahe being required to go on leave was to enable an investigation of alleged corruption to take place when in fact there was no official complaint or charge made against him. The Ministry was not informed of what the alleged misconduct or offence that the Officer had committed.

5. On the 4th January 2011, Peter Nash had left Customs, Kelemite Vahe had returned to work and he was senior to Vehitau Ma'ukie. A meeting was held on the 5th January 2011 of Customs Supervisors and Senior Officers of the Ministry to re-solve the situation in Customs and Ma'ukie was directed to return to Customs in Vavau as Officer in charge there. He was not happy with the decision and appealed to the Minister. After obtaining Crown Law opinion on the issue, the position was confirmed and Kelemite Vahe was transferred from Customs to await the outcome of the investigation that is being conducted by the Public Service Commission.

6. There was no complaint by Ma'ukie against the Commissioner at the time he appealed to the Minister. The two underlying reasons which he has used to accuse the Commissioner of Revenue for terminating his acting appointment are totally untrue and deceitful. The instructions given to him in the 2 cases were to speed up the clearance process instead of delaying it. There were no instructions to change or alter the valuation of the goods or the revenue to be corrected. It is highly improper of Mr Ma'ukie to make the allegations of which he knows are untrue.

7. Customs valuation is one of the key issues in Customs clearance process and the procedures are followed strictly. The Audit Unit is tasked with investigations of any improper assessments or corrections to the proper valuation of dutiable goods.

8. The audit investigation is an on-going situation within Customs to insure that the ministry enforces the law. The allegation of revenue loss due to improper collection or corruption in the range of TOP$30 million to TOP$300 million is preposterous. The latter figure would far exceed the total costs of all imports to Tonga. We have a system that determines the value of goods imported and the amount of tax to be assessed on all goods and failure to follow that procedure would be detected in due course.

9. It should be noted that the December month every year always brings in the highest return of revenue for the year. The level of revenue collected by the Customs Division during 2010 would have been collected whether Mr Ma'ukie was working there or not. He's entitled to his self-indulgence and may be forgiven for believing he is solely responsible.

10. The Ministry is available at all times to assist customers and to give explanations whenever required


Sefita Tangi
Commissioner of Revenue

Ministry of Revenue
P.O Box 502
Nuku'alofa

Ph (676) 21030 / 25638
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 June 2011 22:14 )
 
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