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On May 1, 2011 the Fiji government implemented a new Capitol Gains Tax regime, 10% tax on all gains, even if you are a non-resident.  We recently sold our home in Savusavu due to the economic situation in the USA.  We sold the home in USA dollars which were put into an American $ escrow account by our lawyers.  The FIRCA (revenue and customs) agency usually takes between one or two weeks to complete an application for tax clearance. However, no one in FIRCA seems to know what they are doing and the number of tax clearance applications are stacking-up to the tune of millions of dollars that sellers are not getting resolution, their money is being held up in Fiji, no permission to send it out of the country.  All the realtors and lawyers in Fiji know what is happening, their clients are 'screaming, begging, pleading' for their monies to be released but to no avail, The FIRCA office in Suva is a real mess, no one knows what they should be doing.  We applied for Tax Clearance in May and still no word from FIRCA!  We do love Fiji but are saddened for her people knowing that the current 'Junta' leadership is failing miserably at public service and 'will-not' allow democratic elections in 2014, no matter what they say now!

By the way, if you start a bank account in Fiji (checking or otherwise) you must now get a TIN 'tax identification number" from FIRCA before they will open you an account.

The government is a very heavy handed military organization, they are taxing the people every way they can think of, the same people that cannot afford to send their children to school (fees), are having to give up their morning tea & bread for casava or breadfruit.

Good luck to all our Fiji friends.............

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Thanks for the comments.  Knowing what you now know, would you advise someone to buy a home in Fiji?
Rob, Sorry for the extended delay in answering your question!  Yes, I would have no problem advising someone to buy a home in Fiji!  Beautifull country, beautifull people, lousy government.....sounds like home to me!  However, I would suggest that any land or home sale done in Fiji should only be done through lawyers that specialize in real estate matters.  I have used Walton Morgon of Mitchell-Keil Lawyers-Suva for several realestate transactions over the last 10 years and would have been lost without them in my court!  The forementioned 'problem' was with FIRCA (tax clearance required) before Fiji Revenue Bank approval to send money out of the country.  FIRCA was trying to implement a new Capital Gains Tax regime that was passed by the government May 1st 2011.  They apparently had no real guidance on how to implement the new tax.  After countless emails and telephone calls to FIRCA by both myself and my lawyers, I finally found Ms. Makereta Ledua who personally delt with my very long delay and got the clearance within 24 hours of her involvement.  She was the only person I delt with at FIRCA that was professional in her handling my request for resolution!  I made application in May and received 'clearance' the first of August....prior to the new Capital Gains Tax it normally took one to two weeks to get a 'tax clearance'.  By the way, after all that waiting, FIRCA did not assess me any tax!  Go figure.

Bill, thanks for getting back to me.  This is really priceless advice and I'll have to figure out at a way to incorporate you comments into the website.  It's always good to know a competent and honest attorney when you need them.

 

Can you steer readers to a few decent real estate agents that can help them purchase a home?  I'm thinking of having real estate section on the site and am leery of doing anything until I feel I can direct Fijiguide.com members or readers to the proper channels.  Vinaka

Hi Joycelynn,

 

Thanks for the comments.  As you may know I have a real estate page on the site that needs to be developed a bit more.  See http://www.fijiguide.com/page/real-estate  If you haven't seen it, it may be helpful.

 

Might be instructive for you to spend a few days with Roberta Davis over at Makaira in Taveuni.  She's had good success in running her little property which is more or less a B&B.  Please keep us posted and of course I'd be happy to feature your property on the site.

 

Good luck in your endeavors.  I'd be very interested to see how you get on.   It's a tall order.  Do you know Fiji well?

 

vinaka 

 

Rob

Bula,

I just purchased property (9 acres) on the Coral Coast and the process went smoothly, but does take a lot of time to get all the stamps and paperwork completed.  The attorney that I used was in Suva and the firm knows what they are doing and I recommend them.

My next project is building a home on the property, but that appears to be the most difficult thing to do, as there are limited firms available and I live so far away currently.  Looking forward to moving to Fiji in a few years.

Bula Greg,

Thanks for the update.  Just out of curiosity, which law firm did you use?

The next phase will be a challenge. You'd best be there when they build.   Maybe wait till you have the time.  

best of luck

Rob

Bula Rob,

I used Cromptons in Suva.  Very professional and quick to answer emails from half way around the world.

Yes, I believe I'll have to move their to build, but trying to find a rental from here is tough.  I've been looking at PBS and some of their home plans, but I have plans that I would prefer, so when I come to Fiji this year for a visit, I believe I'll stop by and see if they can work up new plans based on the plans I currently would like build.

Off topic, but can anyone recommend audio for learning Fijian.  I want to learn the language, but it is difficult to find info.

Vinaka,

Greg

Hi Greg

I learned of this Fijian language website on this site a while back - I'm determined to "have a go" myself but have yet to get started - it looks like it's worth a try at least.  Good luck

Marilyn 

http://learntospeakfijian.weebly.com

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