The different taxes that apply in Samoa

Business License     
To register for a new business license, we require:
   • Completed and signed Business License Application Form
   • Proof of identification: Copy of passport or suitable photo identification
   • Site map of the business premises location
   • Evidence of funds: Bank statement or receipt of remittance or loan document
   • Business trades and professionals are required to provide proof of qualification
     or suitable reference

There are also additional requirements for foreign investors, companies and partnerships. For full details, please see the Operational Statement - Application Requirements for New Business Licenses

Business Licences need to be renewed every year. You can do this between 1 December and 31 January by completing and signing a Business Licence Renewal form and bringing it with the appropriate fee to the Inland Revenue office.

Business License Fees for registration and renewals:
   • $220 SAT per activity for sole traders / partnerships
   • $500 SAT per activity for company / joint venture

If you don't renew your license by the 31 January each year, a late payment penalty of $200 is charged on top of the license fee.

Business License Guides and Forms
1. What do I need to apply for a business license?
    • What information is required. (file pdf English, file pdf Samoan)
    file pdf Application Requirements.
2. file pdf Application form for sole trader license.
3. file pdf Application form for everyone else.
4. file pdf Number of business license activities required.
5. file pdf Renewing your business license.
6. file pdf Adding an additional license activity.
     
Record Keeping
All businesses are required to keep records for their business transactions. There are legal reasons as
well as good business reasons to keep these records.

You can claim business expenses against your income, reducing your tax bill. If we audit you, good records will support your expense claims.

For more information on record keeping see our Record Keeping Factsheet English Version, or Record Keeping Factsheet Samoan Version

For more detailed information on how to complete these different types of records please see our guide on Running your Business

VAGST
VAGST (Value added goods and services tax ) is a tax on most goods and services supplied in Samoa by a registered business. It also applies to most imported goods and certain imported services. VAGST of 15% is added to the price of taxable goods and services.

If you have an annual turnover of $78,000 or more from your taxable activity, or you expect your turnover to be $78,000 or more in the next twelve months, you must register for VAT.

For more information on whether you are required to register for VAGST please see our VAGST - Do I need to register factsheet (file pdf English, file pdf Samoan)

VAGST Guides and forms
1.  What do I need to register for VAGST?
      Factsheet (file pdf English, file pdf Samoan)
3. file pdf Registration form for VAGST.
4. file pdf VAGST Return Form [VAGST001]


Employing Staff
If you employ staff you must register as an employer by completing and signing the PAYE Registration Form. PAYE (pay as you earn) is the basic tax you take out of your employees salary and wages.

Each payday you need to record wage details for each employee showing:
1. Total gross earnings, including taxable allowances
2. and amount of PAYE

You are required to file monthly P4 return by the 14th day of the following month.

There are penalties for filing and paying the PAYE late. It is an offence if you do not deduct PAYE from employees, or you deduct it but fail to pay it to the Inland Revenue. If found guilty of this type of offence it can lead to fines or imprisonment.

Employer guides and forms
1. What should you know about deducting tax from staff employees?
    • What is PAYE? (file pdf English, file pdf Samoan)
2. Registration form for PAYE.
3. PAYE Tax Rates.


Income Tax

Income Tax is paid on all income earned in Samoa and all worldwide income received by Samoan tax residents. All businesses are required to file annual income tax returns. The standard income year in the Samoa is 1 January - 31 December and returns and any payment for income tax is due by 31 March the following year.
Businesses not legally incorporated, such as most shops, must declare their revenue as personal income, either as a sole trader in a partnership, whatever the case may be. Companies have a different tax rate and must file a company income tax return. The due dates for companies are the same as sole traders.

Income Tax Returns
1. 2013 Sole Trader Income Tax return
2. 2013 Company Income Tax return

3. 2014 Sole Trader Income Tax return
4. 2014 Company Income Tax return

 


 

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