The High Court has dismissed a constitutional redress application filed by the Data Bureau of Fiji against the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority and Minister for Economy.
The application challenged the constitutionality of Section 72 (A) of the Value Added Tax Decree amended in 2015, specifically the VAT reduction from 15 to nine percent, as announced by Attorney-General and Economy Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in the 2016 National Budget.
Section 72 (A) states that if the percentage of VAT decreases, a registered person must sell goods and services at a price reflecting the actual percentage of any VAT decrease, and that failure to comply would result in a fine not exceeding $50,000, which must be paid within 21 days of the notification.
The Data Bureau was found to have charged 32 consumers for credit checks from January 1-15 this year, using rates that failed to incorporate the 15 to nine percent VAT reduction.
The Bureau was fined $25,000 on January 22 for this breach, and incurred an additional $100,000 penalty for failing to pay the fine within 21 days.
It then filed the constitutional redress application, with the High Court ruling that Section 72 (A) was not unconstitutional.