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2016 Tax Reform
Reforma Fiskál 2016

24 August 2016. Revised 16 December 2016

Contents of this page

Konteúdu pájina ida ne’e


During 2016, the Government of Timor-Leste created a Fiscal Reform Commission (FRC), headed by former MP Fernanda Borges, to rewrite Timor-Leste's tax laws with the goal of improving compliance and increasing revenues. The FRC has focused on reforming customs laws and procedures, and on instituting a Value Added Tax, and has set up a web page on the Ministry of Finance website with press releases and draft laws.

On 5 August, the Commission posted an announcement on its web page that it was "ready for comment and feedback from the private sector," which should be submitted by 15 August. The FRC published drafts of the VAT law and customs code in English, and the amended Taxes and Duties Act in Portuguese (an English version of the TDA was circulated three weeks later).


Durante 2016, Governu Timor-Leste kria Komisaun Reforma Fiskál ida (KRF), ne’ebé lidera hosi eis deputada Fernanda Borges, atu hakerek fali Timor-Leste lei sira taxa nian ho objetivu atu hadi’ak konformidade no kreximentu reseita nian. KRF ne’e foka ba reforma lei no prosedimentu aduaneiru nian, no estabelese Impostu ba Valor Akresentadu, no kria pájina web ida iha website Ministériu Finansa ho komunikadu imprensa no ezbosu lei sira.

Iha 5 Agostu, Komisaun publika sai anúnsiu ida iha nia pájina web katak komisaun ne’e “prontu ona hodi halo konsultas hodi simu komentáriu husi setór privadu sira,” ne’ebé tenke hatama ho prazu to loron 15 Agostu. KRF publika ezbosu sira kona-ba Lei IVA (Portugés no Ingles) no kódigu prosedimentu aduaneiru nian, no alterasaun ba Kódigu Prosedimentu Tributaria nian iha Portugés.


La'o Hamutuk has not devoted a lot of time to this issue, and we are not experts on taxation, although most of what we predicted from the misguided tax reform in 2008 has since come to pass. However, as we observed the FRC and government's preoccupation with foreign investors and exporters rather than with the impoverished majority of Timor-Leste's people, and the continuing failure to make serious efforts to escape from petroleum export dependency, we felt that we should make a comment.  We made a submission on the proposed VAT Law on 15 August in Tetum, highlighting the following points:

  • Timor-Leste needs to invest before we can collect, as few of our people have enough money to pay significant taxes and our current economy is not sustainable.

  • This VAT Law does not advance economic justice, because poor people will pay as much tax as those who can afford it. People and businesses who have more should pay more.

  • The law should help local products compete against imported goods. In particular, our agriculture sector needs protection.

  • The VAT shouldn’t make it harder for poor people to improve their lives or impose an undue burden on small businesses.

  • The law should be clearer about such concepts as maritime territory, offshore oil operations, non-cash transactions, market sellers and other very small businesses, free trade agreements, international travel and other areas.

  • Providers of education and health services should be exempt from VAT.

  • Changing the tax rates should require specific Parliamentary action.


La’o Hamutuk la fó tempu barak ba asuntu ida ne’e, no ami la’ós peritu kona-ba impostu nian, maibé buat barak ne’ebé ami previa tiha ona hosi reforma fiskál ne’ebé sala dalan iha 2008 sai tiha realidade. Maske nune’e, ami hare katak KRF no Governu preokupa liu ho investidór rai li’ur no esportador sira duke maioria povu Timor-Leste ne’ebé sei kiak, no sira kontinua falla atu halo esforsu sira ne’ebé sériu atu sai hosi dependénsia ba esportasaun petróleu, tanba ne’e ami hanoin katak ami tenke halo komentáriu ruma. Ami hakerek submisaun ida kona-ba proposta lei Impostu ba Valor Akresentadu (IVA) iha loron 15 Agostu, hodi fó atensaun maka’as ba asuntu sira tuir mai ne’e:

  • Timor-Leste tenke investe uluk molok kolleita, tanba iha ema uitoan de’it mak iha osan nato’on atu selu taxa boot no ita nia ekonomia ohin loron ne’e la sustentável.

  • Lei IVA ida ne’e seidauk promove justisa ekonomia, tanba ema kiak sira sei selu taxa ne’ebé hanesan ho ema riku sira. Ema riku sira no emprezariu ne’ebé iha osan barak tenke selu barak.

  • Lei tenke ajuda kompetisaun produtu lokál ho sasán importasaun. Partikulármente, ita nia setór agrikultura presiza protesaun.

  • Lei labele taka oportunidade ba ema kiak sira atu hadi’ak sira nia moris ka lei labele tau todan ida ne’ebé la tama ulun ba negosiante ki’ik sira.

  • Lei tenke halo klaru ba konseitu sira hanesan fronteira maritima, atividade petróleu iha tasi laran, tranzasaun la’ós ho osan tahan, vendedór sira iha merkadu no negósiu sira ne’ebé ki’ik tebes, akordu merkadu livre, viajen internasionál no mós area sira seluk.

  • Fornesedór ba servisu edukasaun no saúde tenke hetan insensaun hosi IVA.

  • Mudansa nivel impostu nian tenke presiza asaun Parlamentár ida ne’ebé espesífiku.

Documents (newest first)

Dokumentu (bele Tetum ka Portugés)

Analysis and commentary

Analiza no komentáriu


The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
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