March 18, 2011
Inland Revenue Department assisting on ‘Tax Saturday’

With just under two weeks left before the deadline for the filing of taxes, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is continuing with its series of public education events.{{more}}

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 19, is being dubbed ‘Tax Saturday’, and according to the IRD’s Comptroller Kelvin Pompey, the exercise is the Department’s way of giving back to the general public.

In recognition of March being tax month, Pompey told SEARCHLIGHT that the Inland Revenue Department has always tried to maintain a customer oriented approach especially when dealing with tax issues.

“As tax administrators, we know that taxes are complex. There are no two ways about this. There are numerous procedures,” Pompey explained.

It is with this in mind that members of the general public will be given the opportunity to speak one on one with a tax administrator and discuss any tax related queries.

“We will be able to give more personalized assistance on Saturday,” the comptroller told SEARCHLIGHT.

“We will not be open for making payments, but will be open for persons to come in who may have tax queries or for persons who just want to be more aware of tax matters.”

Issues relating to tax free allowances and what expenses can be considered tax free, questions relating to itemizing as opposed to claiming standard deductions and interest and penalty charges are the most typical queries Pompey identified.

“We do get a lot of calls is this allowable? How do I deal with this situation,” Pompey said but explained that over time, the department had been able to build up considerable expertise because of the databank of questions that had been collected overtime.

He said that the questions had been well researched and that persons at the IRD were now in a better position to give guidance.

The tax official said that there was a correlation between a person’s level of knowledge of taxation and compliance levels.

“The more persons know about taxes the better they are at complying,” Pompey said, adding that ignorance was the partial cause for persons not to comply.

“They simply do not know what to do,” he said.

Tomorrow’s session begins at 9 and runs until 2. (DD)