Senators have approved in second reading an administration bill which the ASG Revenue Task Force says is intended to return money to taxpayers,
This is the bill to update the IRS tax table which the territory follows. American Smaoa has been using the 2000 table for the past 17 years .
Treasurer Ueligiotne Tonumaipea and Tax Office Manager Vaamamao Poufa explained the benefits of the bill for tax payers.
Essentially wage earners will get to keep more of their money and certain deductions will be added .
The administration bill updates the local tax table starting in tax year 2018, by adopting the US Internal Revenue Service tax table for standard deductions and dependent exemptions for the year 2004.
According to the bill, by tax year 2022 American Samoa’s income tax table will mirror the 2022 IRS tax table
The ASG officials cited examples of the savings for wage earners .
For a single person making $20,000 a year ,at present their tax liability is $2,324. Under the bill their tax liability will be $1,454 a savings of more than $800.
Once the tax table is changed to the IRS 2016 tax, the same person would have a tax liability of $995, a savings of $1,329 to what they are paying now.
At present a married couple, with a combined salary of $20,000 and filing jointly with no dependents, is $1,461. Under the 2004 tax table the liability is $899.
Senators were happy to hear that wage earners will get to keep more of their hard earned money and expressed appreciation for the bill,.
Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee said the bill would help tax payers .
Senate President Gaoteote Palaie wondered if updating the tax table for American Samoa would mean that tax refunds will be issued faster.
Treasurer Tonumaipea said it was the government’s earnest hope that all revenue bills including the tax table upgrade will be approved.
Gaoteote pressed if the Treasurer was saying that if all the revenue bills are passed that tax refunds will be out faster.
The Tresurer ‘s clear answer was yes.
To that, Senator Magelei told Tonumaipe’a to remember his answer because if all revenue measure are approved and refunds are still delayed he can expect to be back in the Senate chamber.
Senators are expected to approve the tax table bill in third reading next Tuesday,.