A STARS (System of Tax Administration and Revenue an integrated e-taxation system) Discovery Day roadshow took place yesterday at the Theatre Hall of the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
The Permanent Secretary for Performance at the MoF, Dayang Hajah Ning-Lela binti Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad in her speech at the roadshow said, "In its effort to engage the relevant sectors of the business community, the Ministry of Finance hopes to drive the economy through diversification and development in non-oil gas sectors by creating a more conducive environment".
She added that there are similar incentives and allowances available for oil and gas sector companies to build their businesses.
She pointed out that moving the Registrar of Companies and Business Names to MoF on April 1, was a move to align the activities of registrars to STARS.
There are still data integrity issues between the two systems that need to be resolved as the name of directors between the two databases need to be corrected and rectified, thus cooperation from company directors is much sought after, to help them in making the database as accurate as possible.
From the records on registered companies, there are over 9,000 registered companies in Brunei with over 4,000 that are non-active, 2,500 are active and the rest had been struck off due to its long dormancy.
The statistic raises questions if the data is factually correct such as why the numbers are low for active companies, why are there many inactive and dormant companies, is the environment not conducive enough for business or if the nation is being complacent by simply taking back and not giving back towards the development of a stronger economy The permanent secretary also highlighted the various steps that have been taken and introduced to better ease the process of conducting business in the Sultanate, such as rendering further support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
Support to SMEs comes in the form of a reduced corporate tax rate of 10 per cent from 30 to 20 per cent over a number of fiscal years, exemption from tax for the first 13$1,000,000 of revenue for newly set-up companies during the first three-years of business, and the introduction of tax thresholds with further reduced tax rates.
These amendments to the Income Tax Act have had a cumulative effect in reducing tax payments and the relief in many cases amounts to approximately more than 60 per cent of previous tax payments by companies.
To date, there have been yearly amendments to the Income Tax Act since 2008, while the Revenue Division has also taken advantage of Information Technology to develop and introduce more friendly and practical moves to make the submission and declaration of chargeable income of companies simpler.
This has led to the establishment of the STARS system, which is designed and tailor made to domestic requirements.
The system provides online access for business transactions, enquiries and management services accounts around the clock where the more significant services allow taxpayers to complete their statements and make payments via Internet banking facilities.
The MoF Revenue Section took the opportunity to remind taxpayers to file and pay their income tax for the evaluation year before June 30, and that they also need to produce their estimated income three months after the Company Financial Account statement date, as stated in Section 52A (i) of the Income Tax Act.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin