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Treasury hires former IRS man as new tax auditor

Treasury Department’s Tax Office has recruited a former auditor of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as Treasurer Dr. Falema’o ‘Phil’ M. Pili moves to restructure the Tax Office, one of the two ASG agencies which provide large revenue collection for the government’s coffers.


Customs, a division of Treasury is the other agency providing huge money for ASG.


Samoa News learned this week that ASG recently recruited Richard Jimmerson of Texas, who worked for the IRS for many years.


Pili confirmed yesterday that he has hired a new tax auditor, who was formerly with the IRS “and this is our on-going effort to beef up the Tax Office auditing division.” Additionally, he noted that this new auditor’s salary is included in the fiscal year 2014 budget.


Asked as to the benefit of having more auditors onboard, Pili said, this is to “ensure that  businesses are in compliance with our tax laws” when they pay their taxes. He also said there are currently three tax auditors on staff but he is “looking to have at least six qualified tax auditors”.


He also said that he is “restructuring the entire Tax Division to accommodate our mandate of increased tax revenue collections.” Additional details of the restructure are expected to be released soon.


In the Treasury’s fiscal year 2013 fourth quarter performance report, Pili said the department’s “prevalent obstruction to our organization is a lack of resources to carry out mandated functions” adding that lack of manpower and qualified staff in various divisions hinders their “ability to conduct collections on projected revenue owed to the government”.


In the last three years, several lawmakers have questioned whether the government has sufficient auditors to carry out the required mandate to conduct audits of individuals and especially corporate tax returns to ensure that everyone is paying their fair share of taxes.


ASG officials had testified about the difficulty in recruiting qualified auditors — especially those from off island who would take up a job offer in American Samoa with a low pay scale compared to the U.S.


Current Tax Office manager Melvin Joseph retired from the IRS before taking up the local post.