The 13th Annual Heads Meeting of the Pacific Islands Tax Administrators Association (PITAA) was hosted by the Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority (FRCA) at the Intercontinental Resort and Spa, Natadola Fiji from Tuesday 14th – Friday 16th September 2016. It was attended by 30 delegates from 11 member countries. There were 12 Observers from Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC), International Monetary Fund (IMF), New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (NZIRD), OECD, PACTAM, IBFD, Adam Smith International, Global Forum, ADB and Trade (DFAT), OCO Sogema Technologies and Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The meeting was officially opened by Honorable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum the Attorney General, Minister for Economy, Public Enterprise, Civil Service and Communications of Fiji who stressed the importance of collaboration within the Pacific Island nations. He highlighted the importance of the tax office engaging upfront with their respective Governments in tax and customs matters especially in bilateral agreements.
At the Annual Heads meeting the Executive committee endorsed the appointment of the new Head of Secretariat Ms. Koni Ravono.
The meeting also endorsed the PITAA Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021 with the vision of “Leading Pacific Island Administrators towards international best Practice”. The plan endorsed the five strategic priority areas as (1) Effectively manage member and donor resources (2) Assist members to manage erosion of revenue base; (3) Assist members to build their capability and capacity and (4) Utilize information, skills and knowledge and (5) Contribute to regional and international forums.
The annual meeting also featured member administrations sharing experiences on compliance improvement strategy and implementation and administration of reforms. Members benefitted from a number of technical presentations from subject matter experts this assisted in deepening member understanding on some of the challenges which included Increasing revenue mobilization to finance sustainable development, Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Implementation, exchange of information, E-taxation and national payment systems.
Member Administrations agreed to continue to collaborate in areas of Capacity building, exploring into regional resource pool in specialized areas such as transfer pricing and tax tribunal, information sharing and strengthen awareness on tax administrations. Members also noted opportunities for accessing assistance and technical expertise available with various agencies IMF, PFTAC, IBFD, ADB, OECD Global Forum and the like with a regionalized approach.