COVID CHALLENGES PUSHED REVENUE COLLECTORS TO GO DIGITAL:PM
THE Marape Government’s investment in reinvigorating the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) is paying off with a revenue collection of a record K8.1 billion this year 2021 despite a challenging economic environment brought on by COVID-19.
This became clear during Prime Minister Hon. James Marape’s address when he spoke today at the launch of IRC’s new online tax payment system, MyIRC Online Service Platform.
This year is only the third time Government revenue collection has hit the K8 billion mark in the last decade; the first was in 2014 during the first year of PNGLNG production and in 2018, both of which were comparatively good economic years for PNG, the Prime Minister said in a media release this evening.
Prime Minister Marape added that IRC and Customs commitment and drive to excel in meeting their collective target in spite of the Covid-impacted economy illustrates the emphasis his Government is placing on investing resources and funding support to the tax collectors which has led to the high revenue yield.
The Government has indicated further support to IRC by investing in the Integrated Tax Management system through a K35 million funding in the 2022 budget as well as another K11 million for goods and service tax administration.
The new online tax payment system is expected to add more value to the work IRC is doing.
The Prime Minister said he was “totally proud” of this “milestone” achievement by the tax collectors, who have performed “exceptionally well”, and even surpassed what Treasury had forecasted by K200 million in spite of the hard time the country is currently facing.
“We pledged to assist IRC and Customs to the best of our ability, and this is the highest IRC and Customs have received from the Budget to ensure you build up your capacity, ramp up efficiency, and get going,” said the Prime Minister.
“I am not someone who lies when I make policy pronouncements; I live up to all my policy pronouncements, like I did with the SME funding commitments, the commodity price support and others.”
Prime Minister Marape said he was happy to see IRC and Customs moving into the e-service space which was the direction he wants Government services to take. This is to cut down on human interferences and manipulation of these important systems of fees and tax collections.
“By the time the country turns 50 years in 2025, all transactions at IRC and Customs should be done digitally,” said the Prime Minister.
“As part of the support to these two government agencies, 500 allotments under the National Housing Corporation will be given out to government employees, including those of IRC and Customs as more incentive to work better for our country.”