Papua New Guinea

Overview

Last reviewed - 23 June 2020

Papua New Guinea (PNG) lies on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, located between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean among the islands of Oceania. In 1885, it was divided between Germany (north) and the United Kingdom (south). The area controlled by the United Kingdom was transferred to Australia in 1902, which occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until Papua New Guinea gained its independence in 1975. Papua New Guinea's capital city is Port Moresby, and its official languages are English, Tok Pisin, and Hiri Motu. The currency in Papua New Guinea is the Papua New Guinea kina (PGK).

Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population. Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings. A consortium led by a major American oil company commenced production of the country's estimated 227 billion cubic metres of natural gas reserves into liquefied natural gas (LNG) in April 2014 with the first shipment of LNG being delivered to Japan in May 2014, ahead of schedule. As the largest investment project in the country's history, it has the potential to double gross domestic product (GDP) in the near-term and triple Papua New Guinea's export revenue.

There are also a number of major resource projects in the pipeline, including the Frieda River Copper-Gold project and ‘Papua LNG’, Papua New Guinea’s second LNG project. These projects continue to be anticipated to commence over the coming years. 

The government has brought better stability to the national budget, largely through expenditure control as well as the successful entry into global debt markets with the launch of the country's first sovereign bond completed in 2018. Numerous challenges still face the government, including providing physical security for foreign investors, regaining investor confidence, restoring integrity to state institutions, promoting economic efficiency by privatising moribund state institutions, and balancing relations with Australia, its former colonial ruler.

Papua New Guinea’s prominence on the world stage continues to increase. The country has successfully hosting the 2015 Pacific Games, the FIFA Women’s Under 20 Soccer World Cup in 2016, and was the host of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2018.

PwC Papua New Guinea offers assurance services, advisory services, and tax services and is the largest professional services firm in Papua New Guinea.

The firm provides assurance services to clients on the financial performance and operations of their businesses, helping them to manage the totality of their business risks and improve financial performance.

The advisory practice provides comprehensive financial, economic, and strategic advice to companies with complex business problems, disputes, and opportunities. Traditional services include corporate advisory, valuations, performance improvement, and transaction services (e.g. due diligence).

The core service offerings of the firm's tax practice in Papua New Guinea include formulating effective strategies for optimising taxation solutions, implementing innovative tax planning, and effectively maintaining compliance. Our tax practitioners, who form the largest taxation practice in Papua New Guinea, are highly experienced, having helped to fashion much of the tax law, and can assist with all manner of tax issues.

Quick rates and dates

Corporate income tax (CIT) rates
Headline CIT rate (%)

Resident: 30;

Non-resident: 48

Corporate income tax (CIT) due dates
CIT return due date

28 February following the year of income (usually a calendar year) to which the return relates;

However, under most tax agent lodgement programs, taxable returns are due six months from the taxpayer's year-end, and non-taxable returns are due seven months from the taxpayer's year-end.

CIT final payment due date

Within 30 days of the date of service of the notice of assessment.

CIT estimated payment due dates

Three equal instalments by 90, 180, and 270 days of the commencement of an income year. We note however that the legislative amendments in relation to these dates were made in error, and the IRC system provides for (and expects) payments in instalments by 120, 210 and 300 days from the commencement of an income year.

Personal income tax (PIT) rates
Headline PIT rate (%)

42

Personal income tax (PIT) due dates
PIT return due date

30 June

PIT final payment due date

Where an individual is served with a notice of assessment to income tax, any tax payable is due within 30 days of the date of service of the notice.

PIT estimated payment due dates

30 September of the year of income.

Value-added tax (VAT) rates
Standard VAT rate (%)

Goods and services tax: 10

Withholding tax (WHT) rates
WHT rates (%) (Div/Int/Roy)

Resident: 0 / 15 / 0;

Non-resident: 15 / 15 / 10 (non-associate recipient) or 30 (associate recipient)

Capital gains tax (CGT) rates
Corporate capital gains tax rate (%)

PNG does not currently tax capital gains.

Individual capital gains tax rate (%)

Capital gains are subject to the normal PIT rate.

Net wealth/worth tax rates
Headline net wealth/worth tax rate (%)

NA

Inheritance and gift tax rates
Inheritance tax rate (%)

NA

Gift tax rate (%)

NA

NA stands for Not Applicable (i.e. the territory does not have the indicated tax or requirement)

NP stands for Not Provided (i.e. the information is not currently provided in this chart)

All information in this chart is up to date as of the 'Last reviewed' date on the corresponding territory Overview page. This chart has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this chart without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this chart, and, to the extent permitted by law, PwC does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this chart or for any decision based on it.