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Report Exposes Tax Evasion by PNG Loggers

February 14, 2019
Radio New Zealand

An investigative report has revealed grand scale tax evasion by logging companies operating in Papua New Guinea.

The report by the Oakland Institute, titled The Great Timber Heist Continued, follows a 2016 report which alleged financial misreporting by foreign firms, resulting in the non-payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

According to the Post Courier, the report is based on case studies of sixteen logging subsidiaries, and shows some loggers have reported a doubling of their losses while increasing exports of tropical timber.

The report's author, Frédéric Mousseau, said it shouldn't be possible for these companies to remain in business if they're not making profits.

He said financial records show the loggers' consistent declaration of losses allows them to accumulate enough tax credits to avoid paying income tax in the future.