The different taxes that apply in Samoa
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. ( English, Samoan)
• Application Requirements.
2. Application form for sole trader license.
3. Application form for everyone else.
4. Number of business license activities required.
5. Renewing your business license.
6. Adding an additional license activity.
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 (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 ( English, Samoan)
VAGST Guides and forms
1. What do I need to register for VAGST?
• Factsheet ( English, Samoan)
3. Registration form for VAGST.
4. VAGST Return Form [VAGST001]
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? ( English, Samoan)
2. Registration form for PAYE.
3. PAYE Tax Rates.
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