Boost in staff morale and safer system key in Revenue Ministry’s highest ever collection

Tonga’s Ministry of Revenue and Customs said the TP$13.9 million it collected in December 2015 was the most money it had ever brought in.

The Ministry planned to collect TP$11.5 million (equivalent to US$5,125,550, Aus$7,426,612.47 or NZ$7,969,699.91),  but ended up with a TP$2.4 million (equivalent to US$ 891,400, NZ$ 1386034.77 or Aus$1,291,042.24) surplus.

Revenue and Customs CEO Kulu ‘Anisi Bloomfield attributed the success to a boost in staff morale and the safer system the Ministry had created to make sure it collected every single cent it was owed to meet its target.

Bloomfield said the Ministry had proven that its plan to work more closely with the public helped achieve its revenue targets.

The Ministry also organised workshops for its staff and outside partners to understand their roles better.

“Sometimes officers believed they were kings and the people who they were collecting money from were servants,” Bloomfield said.

“That’s a big misconception.”

Bloomfield said the closer working relationship with brokers, shipping agencies, Ministry of Quarantine and Biosecurity and Port Authorities make it easier for the Ministry to collect revenue quickly.

“At one stage these bodies agreed to work overtime and finished at 11pm or midnight to make sure people’s parcels and consignments were released,” Bloomfield said.

“The quicker people’s consignments were released, the faster the Ministry’s collected revenue.”

Bloomfield said the Ministry had designed policies for the current fiscal year that made sure the public could afford taxes and duties.

Bloomfield said the Ministry believed that if people felt they could afford to pay taxes and duties they would continue to import consignments from families living overseas.

He said December was normally the peak month for consignments coming from overseas for Christmas and the New Year.

Bloomfield said most of the revenue collected was for what were officially described as  “imported commodities.”

The main points

  • Tonga’s Ministry of Revenue and Customs said the TP$13.9 million it collected in December 2015 was the most money it had ever brought in.
  • The Ministry planned to collect TP$11.5 million, but ended up with a TP$2.4 million
  • Revenue and Customs CEO, Kulu ‘Anisi Bloomfield said the Ministry had designed policies that made sure the public could afford taxes and duties.
  • He said December was normally the peak month for consignments coming from overseas for Christmas and the New Year.

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