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  • Service: Tax, Global Mobility Services
  • Type: Regulatory update, Survey report
  • Date: 5/1/2013

Fiji - Income Tax 

Taxation of international executives
Tax returns and compliance
Tax rates
Residence rules
Termination of residence
Economic employer approach
Types of taxable compensation
Tax-exempt income
Expatriate concessions
Salary earned from working abroad
Taxation of investment income and capital gains
Additional capital gains tax (CGT) issues and exceptions
General deductions from income
Tax reimbursement methods
Calculation of estimates/prepayments/withholding
Relief for foreign taxes
General tax credits
Sample tax calculation


All income tax information is summarized by KPMG, the Fiji Islands member firm of KPMG International, based on the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority.


Tax returns and compliance

When are tax returns due? That is, what is the tax return due date?


31 March.


If the tax return is lodged under the Tax Agents Lodgment Program then an extension of time of up to a maximum of eight months is generally granted.


What is the tax year-end?


31 December.


What are the compliance requirements for tax returns in the Fiji Island?


Residents


Every person liable to taxation under the Income Tax Act of Fiji is required to lodge an income tax return with the tax authorities declaring all sources of income by 31 March of every year in respect of the income in the immediately preceding year.


Fiji has a PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn) system pursuant to which PAYE tax is deducted at the source by the employer and remitted to the Inland Revenue. An individual who derives income from employment or from any other sources is required to file an annual income tax return based on a calendar year.


An individual who derives taxable income from sources other than employment is also required to make provisional tax payments in three equal installments (30 April, 31 August, and 30 November). The installments are usually based on the previous year’s income tax assessment.


Under the Tax Administration Decree of 2009, for late lodgment of income tax returns the maximum penalty is 20 percent of the amount of tax outstanding under the return and FJD1.00 per day in any other case. For the late payment of tax there is a flat rate of 25 percent of the outstanding balance that is charged, irrespective of the length of the delay.


Non-residents


The compliance requirements for non-residents are basically the same as that of the residents, except where the assignee is on a three-year contract in Fiji they need only declare their Fiji-sourced income. The tax authorities may demand for the lodgment of the final tax return and settlement of the tax matters before the departure of the individual from Fiji.


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Tax rates

What are the current income tax rates for residents and non-residents in the Fiji Islands?


Residents


Income tax table for 2011


Taxable income bracket Total tax on income below bracket Tax rate on income in bracket
From FJD To FJD FJD Percent
0 15,000 0 0
15,001 15,600 0 25
15,601 Over 150 31

Non-residents


Income tax table for 2011


Taxable income bracket Total tax on income below bracket Tax rate on income in bracket
From FJD To FJD FJD Percent
0 9,000 0 20
9,001 10,000 1,800 25
10,001 20,000 2,050 30
20,001 Over 5,050 31

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Residence rules

For the purposes of taxation, how is an individual defined as a resident of the Fiji Islands?


For tax purposes, an individual is considered a resident if he/she actually resides in Fiji, or:


  • whose domicile is in Fiji, unless the tax authorities are satisfied that his/her permanent place of abode is outside of Fiji or
  • who has been in Fiji either continuously or intermittently for more than one-half of the income year, unless the tax authorities are satisfied that his/her usual place of abode is located outside of Fiji and that there was no intention to become resident in Fiji.

Is there, a de minimus number of days rule when it comes to residency start and end date? For example, a taxpayer cannot come back to the host country for more than 10 days after their assignment is over and they repatriate.


No, there is no de minimus number of days rule in Fiji.


What if the assignee enters the country before their assignment begins?


An assignee may re-enter Fiji at any time provided he/she has the necessary immigration permits.


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Termination of residence

Are there any tax compliance requirements when leaving the Fiji Islands?


Before leaving Fiji, a taxpayer is required to file a terminal income tax return and finalize all tax matters.


The Income Tax Act does not prohibit a person from entering Fiji before the commencement of the assignment. However under the immigration legislation, a non-resident shall not commence work without a work permit.


What if the assignee comes back for a trip after residency has terminated?


Information is not available.


Communication between immigration and taxation authorities


Do the immigration authorities in the Fiji Islands provide information to the local taxation authorities regarding when a person enters or leaves the Fiji Islands?


The local tax authorities have access to the immigration records of all personnel entering or departing Fiji.


Filing requirements


Will an assignee have a filing requirement in the host country after they leave the country and repatriate?


An assignee will not have any filing requirements after leaving Fiji provided the assignee had finalized his/her tax matters before departure from Fiji.


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Economic employer approach1

Do the taxation authorities in the Fiji Islands adopt the economic employer approach to interpreting Article 15 of the OECD treaty? If no, are the taxation authorities in the Fiji Islands considering the adoption of this interpretation of economic employer in the future?


Information not available from the Fiji tax office on this matter.


De minimus number of days2


Are there a de minimus number of days before the local taxation authorities will apply the economic employer approach? If yes, what is the de minimus number of days?


Information is not available.


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Types of taxable compensation

What categories are subject to income tax in general situations?


The following components of a normal expatriate compensation plan are fully taxable in Fiji:


  • base salary
  • cost-of-living and foreign assignment allowances
  • reimbursement of foreign or home country taxes
  • reimbursement of education expenses
  • if housing and car benefits are received by way of cash allowance, the total receipts are taxed in the employee’s hands
    1. If the benefit is provided free of charge, the taxable value is determined by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.
  • insurance and medical benefits
  • benefits are generally taxable.

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Tax-exempt income

Are there any areas of income that are exempt from taxation in the Fiji Islands? If so, please provide a general definition of these areas.


The following items are normally not construed as taxable income:


  • travel expenses
  • entertainment allowances.

Travel expenses


Travel expenses limited to the economy airfare by the most direct route between Fiji and his/her home country are exempt from tax for:


  • initial arrival and final departure
  • one home leave per year
  • trips made for urgent family reasons.

Entertainment allowances


Entertainment allowances are tax free if vouchers can be produced. In the absence of any vouchers, as a matter of practice by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, 50 percent of the allowances up to the maximum of FJD5,000 are treated as tax exempt. However, the Commissioner may still request that vouchers be produced, and if not produced on request, the amount may be fully assessable.


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Expatriate concessions

Are there any concessions made for expatriates in the Fiji Islands?


There are no tax concessions granted to expatriates.


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Salary earned from working abroad

Is salary earned from working abroad taxed in the Fiji Islands? If so, how?


An expatriate is subject to Fiji tax only on the remuneration sourced in Fiji. However, if the expatriate is resident in Fiji and derives employment income from working abroad, that income is subject to tax in Fiji.


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Taxation of investment income and capital gains

Are investment income and capital gains taxed in the Fiji Islands? If so, how?


Fiji introduced Capital Gains Tax effective from 1 May 2011.


Interest income is taxable. Financial institutions are required to withhold interest withholding tax at the source and remit the same to the tax authority, unless the depositor provides to the financial institutions a certificate of exemption issued by the tax authority.


Rental income is subject to tax. Allowable deductions are limited to real property taxes, rent paid on property being subleased, maintenance, and collection expenses.


Non-qualifying dividend paid to non-residents are subject to withholding tax at 15 percent (Australia and Papua New Guinea 20 and 17 percent, respectively). Dividends paid by companies listed on the South Pacific Stock Exchange are tax-free.


Foreign exchange gains and losses


Realized foreign exchange gains and losses are taxable/deductible for tax purposes.


Capital losses


Capital losses are not allowable as deduction for tax purposes.


Personal use items


Personal use items are not allowable as deduction for tax purposes.


Gifts


Gifts are not taxable in Fiji.


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Additional capital gains tax (CGT) issues and exceptions

Are there additional capital gains tax (CGT) issues in the Fiji Islands? If so, please discuss?


CGT is a new tax regime being introduced from 1 May 2011. It is yet to be tested.


Are there capital gains tax exceptions in the Fiji Islands? If so, please discuss?


There are certain capital gains that are exempt from CGT such as:


  • capital gain made by a resident individual or Fiji citizen that does not exceed FJD20,000
  • capital gain made by a resident individual or Fiji citizen on disposal of their principal place of residence
  • capital gain on disposal of shares listed on South Pacific Stock Exchange
  • capital gain made on disposal of an asset solely used to derive income exempt from income tax.

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General deductions from income

What are the general deductions from income allowed in the Fiji Island?


An annual wife allowance of FJD1,200 for a wholly dependent wife is granted to the husband. Or, where the wife is working the wife allowance of FJD1,200 is granted to the wife.


An annual child allowance of FJD500 per child for the first two children and FJD300 per child for the next three dependent children is given for up to five dependent children.


Life insurance/superannuation payments up to a maximum of FJD1,500 per year per taxpayer are deductible.


An elderly dependent (70 years or older) allowance of FJD200 per dependent per year is granted for up to a maximum of two dependents.


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Tax reimbursement methods

What are the tax reimbursement methods generally used by employers in the Fiji Islands?


The gross-up method is generally used by employers for tax reimbursement purposes.


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Calculation of estimates/prepayments/withholding

How are estimates/prepayments/withholding of tax handled in the Fiji Islands? For example, Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG), and so on.


Individuals deriving salary/wages in Fiji are taxed at source (PAYE) by the employers and the tax is paid to the tax authorities by the end of the month following the month of deduction. At the end of the year the employer provides a certificate to the employee showing the gross salary paid and the amount of the PAYE tax deducted which is used by the employee to file his/her tax return.


Interest withholding tax is deducted and remitted to the tax authorities in the same manner as the PAYE tax and certificates provided to the beneficiaries of the interest income showing the gross income and interest withholding tax deducted.


When are estimates/prepayments/withholding of tax due in the Fiji Islands? For example: monthly, annually, both, and so on.


PAYE and interest withholding taxes are to be paid to the tax authorities by the end of the month following the month in which the deductions are made.


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Relief for foreign taxes

Is there any Relief for Foreign Taxes in the Fiji Islands? For example, a foreign tax credit (FTC) system, double taxation treaties, and so on?


A foreign tax credit system is used in Fiji for relief from double taxation on foreign-sourced income.


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General tax credits

What are the general tax credits that may be claimed in the Fiji Islands? Please list below.


Credits that are claimable in Fiji against a taxpayer’s regular income are:


  • marital/spouse allowance
  • dependent child allowance
  • elderly dependents allowance
  • superannuation/life insurance allowance.

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Sample tax calculation3

This calculation assumes a married taxpayer resident in Fiji with two children whose three-year assignment begins 1 January 2011 and ends 31 December 2013. The taxpayer’s base salary is USD100,000 and the calculation covers three years.


2011
USD
2012
USD
2013
USD
Salary 100,000 100,000 100,000
Bonus 20,000 20,000 20,000
Cost-of-living allowance 10,000 10,000 10,000
Housing allowance 12,000 12,000 12,000
Company car 6,000 6,000 6,000
Moving expense reimbursement 20,000 0 20,000
Home leave 0 5,000 0
Education allowance 3,000 3,000 3,000
Interest income from non-local sources 6,000 6,000 6,000

Exchange rate used for calculation: USD1.00 = FJD1.78.


Other assumptions


  • All earned income is attributable to local sources.
  • Bonuses are paid at the end of each tax year, and accrue evenly throughout the year.
  • Interest income is not remitted to Fiji.
  • The company car is used for business and private purposes and originally cost USD50,000.
  • The employee is deemed resident throughout the assignment.
  • Tax treaties and totalization agreements are ignored for the purpose of this calculation.

Calculation of taxable income


Year-ended 2011
FJD
2012
FJD
2013
FJD
Days in Fiji during year 365 366 365
Earned income subject to income tax
Salary 178,000 178,000 178,000
Bonus 35,600 35,600 35,600
Cost-of-living allowance 17,800 17,800 17,800
Net housing allowance 21,360 21,360 21,360
Company car 5,572 5,572 5,572
Moving expense reimbursement 0 0 0
Home leave 0 8,900 0
Education allowance 5,340 5,340 5,340
Total earned income 263,672 272,572 263,672
Other income 0 0 0
Total income 263,672 272,572 263,672
Deductions 2,200 2,200 2,200
Total taxable income 261,472 270,372 261,472

Calculation of tax liability


2011
FJD
2012
FJD
2013
FJD
Taxable income as above 261,472.00 270,372.00 261,472.00
Fijian tax thereon 76,370.32 79,129.32 76,370.32
Less:
Domestic tax rebates (dependent spouse rebate) 0.00 0.00 0.00
Foreign tax credits 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total Fijian tax 76,370.32 79,129.32 76,370.32

In the above exercise home leave has been treated as cash allowance. However, any passage cost or reimbursement of passage costs borne by the employer is not taxable.


Please note that the tax rates for residents had changed from 1 January 2010.




1Certain tax authorities adopt an ‘economic employer’ approach to interpreting Article 15 of the OECD model treaty which deals with the Dependent Services Article. In summary, this means that if an employee is assigned to work for an entity in the host country for a period of less than 183 days in the fiscal year (or, a calendar year of a 12-month period), the employee remains employed by the home country employer but the employee's salary and costs are recharged to the host entity, then the host country tax authority will treat the host entity as being the ‘economic employer’ and therefore the employer for the purposes of interpreting Article 15. In this case, Article 15 relief would be denied and the employee would be subject to tax in the host country.


2For example, an employee can be physically present in the country for up to 60 days before the tax authorities will apply the ‘economic employer’ approach.


3Sample calculation generated by KPMG, the Fiji Islands member firm of KPMG International, based on the Fiji Islands Revenue and Customs Authority.




© 2013 KPMG, a Fiji Islands partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (KPMG International), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

 

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Taxation of international executives