DataTorque’s e-tax service for businesses goes live in the Solomon Islands
Businesses in the Solomon Islands can now file their tax returns electronically on a web-based platform using DataTorque’s Revenue Management System (RMS).
“We’re proud to be partnering with the Solomon Islands Inland Revenue Division (IRD) to deliver the technology that is critical to modernising and digitising their taxation system,” said Bill Chatwin, Managing Director, DataTorque.
“It is very exciting to be working with the IRD, and being a part of the significant progress that we are making together for the benefit of Solomon Islanders,” he said.
The new services enable businesses to register for an IRD online (E-Tax) account and use their allocated IDs to electronically file Goods Tax, Sales Tax and PAYE. The upgraded RMS also has a number of e-payments options, such as internet banking and EFTPOS for businesses to pay their tax obligations.
This is the first of two phases of online services delivery that will ultimately transform the entire IRD tax platforms to a digital one, allowing easy and efficient e-filing and e-payments. It also has the potential to extend digital payments to mobile and app-based services in the future.
IRD Commissioner Joseph Dokekana said that for well over a decade the IRD has been on a progressive path to modernization. “This next step, however is without a doubt the most exciting in the journey so far. In today's world, to be modern means you must be digital. The digitization of our services will bring immense value to the country in terms of improving domestic resource mobilization, better tax compliance and ease of tax payments for our customers,” he said.
The taxation modernization in the Solomon Islands has been enabled by bilateral funding from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and through a grant and technical support provided by the United Nation’s Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP). MFAT and IRD have enjoyed a funding partnership which has lasted more than a decade in total and been the key enabler for a modern tax system and increased revenue collections year after year. Through PFIP, the project has also received financial support from the Governments of Australia and New Zealand.
PFIP’s Regional Technical Specialist Abigail Chang said PFIP was extremely proud to partner with the IRD and the Government of Solomon Islands in this important digitization project, which has great potential for replicability in other Pacific countries.
“Digitization increases efficiency, transparency and reduces the risk for fraud. It can also help to achieve a higher rate of tax compliance and meets broader national financial inclusion objectives besides contributing to achieving a number of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.
The Solomon Islands is a Commonwealth country of 600,000 people, with six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. In addition to RMS, the Solomon Islands also use DataTorque’s Transport Management System (TMS) for administering their driver and vehicle licences.