The Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) is responsible for the collection of most of PNG’s Tax Revenue. Although there are many revenue streams administered by IRC, the main ones are; Income Tax, Salary and Wage Tax (SWT) and Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The Internal Revenue Commission Act 2014 establishes the IRC as a Statutory Authority and the “Commission”, consisting of the Commissioner General and the Commissioners, as the governing body of the IRC. Under its enabling Act, the IRC is not a Department of the National Public Service and therefore the provisions of the Public Services (Management) Act 1995 do not apply to the IRC. The Commissioner General and the Commissioners instead draw the authority to administer and control the Commission’s functions and activities through IRC Act and other tax legislation.
The Commission,functioning in a similar fashion to that of a Board, provides and approves the IRC’spolicy, strategic direction and guidance that is required for IRC to meet the Government’s revenue requirements, to develop IRC for the future, and ensures that the IRC functions effectively, efficiently and accountably within the resources provided. Administratively, the Commissioner General is also responsible for the day-to-day running of the IRC; exercising direct management of and control over tax administration, revenue collection and internal corporate support services.
The IRC Corporate Plan 2013-2017 provides clear strategic direction for operating and developing the IRC. In line with Government’s expectations and guided by the Corporate Plan, IRC has embarked on an ambitious programme of reform that aims to modernise and streamline the administration of taxes and to strengthen our governance arrangements.
IRC’s core business processes and systems are being overhauled through the delivery of a new revenue accounting system. It uses the Standard Integrated Government Tax Administration System (SIGTAS) program, which has been installed in a large number of other countries around the world. The new system is bringing the IRC’s core tax administration systems back into the modern world as it replaces the IRC’s old system which was implemented in the 1990s.
SIGTAS has brought with it a level of automation that requires structural adjustment within the IRC to meet the shift of risk and compliance management from the ‘front end’ of the process to the ‘backend’. It also provides opportunities to refocus staff on higher value work within the IRC. IRC’s strategy has been to progressively grow and reconfigure the IRC commensurate with its capacity to absorb and train the workforce. The strategy recognises the need to carefully balance these activities to ensure that revenue collection remains the priority.
The IRC and Government both recognised the need to continue to improve tax compliance, and to close any gaps which might make it easier for people and businesses to avoid paying their fair share of tax. Tax Compliance requires taxpayers to be registered with the IRC, to lodge their returns and other documentation, to report accurate information to the IRC about their tax affairs, and to pay their taxes due. Going forward, IRC will be paying increased attention to each of these compliance areas. To better manage tax compliance, there have been substantial increases in the size of the debt collection, taxpayer advice and education, risk assessment, case selection and audit functions within the IRC.
The IRC is continuing to redefine and develop itself, to carry forward the traditions of more than 50 years tax administration in PNG. We are committed to good governance, integrity and our accountability to Government and the community. We are proud of our zero tolerance policy against corruption and corrupt behaviours and strongly embrace the principles of non-discrimination in our workplace.
We are a modern organisation and proud of our cultural heritage. Our people come from every region of PNG and from other countries. Our staff are successful at work and outside of work. We are leaders in church, sport and the community. The IRC actively participates in community initiatives such as supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS. Revenue Haus, our Port Moresby headquarters, is recognised as a Meri Seif Haus.