American Samoan cabinet members not paying taxes

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PAGO PAGO (RNZ Pacific/Pacnews) —  American Samoa's governor says some members of his cabinet have not filed their tax returns in years.

Lolo Matalasi Moliga made the revelation during a cabinet meeting over the weekend.

The governor said he had often told the cabinet members that they should set the example for the rest of the U.S territory.

He urged them to file their taxes so the government could earn revenue, and he suggested the reason why some were not filing was because they owed money.

Lolo said he learned from the treasurer, Ueligitone Tonumaipe'a, that three or four department of directors had not filed their taxes for four years. 

But now that stimulus money was being distributed they had started filing their returns.

Taxpayers in American Samoa received nearly $24 million in stimulus checks from the U.S. government this month as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act.

The money covered 9,300 taxpayers and their qualified dependents who filed their 2019 taxes up to May 13.

A second round of checks is due at the end of the month for those who have filed their 2018 returns.

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