Government offers breaks to tax payers
April 20, 2012
Government offers breaks to tax payers

In an effort to collect over two hundred million dollars owed by tax payers to the Government, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has announced that tax breaks will be offered in various categories.{{more}}

For one month, waivers would be offered on interests and penalties, through an arrears management program conducted by the Internal Revenue Department, (IRD).

The program begins on Monday April 23.

“I am offering the tax payers for Company Tax, Personal Income Tax, Withholding Tax, substantial reductions in their interest and penalties, which is what carries it up high….”

“I want to make it plain that there is no amnesty which will be provided for the current period for VAT (Value Added Tax), Excise and PAYE.”

Gonsalves, in making the announcement, stated that the amnesty for the partial waiver of interest and penalty will be extended to the tax payers in order to improve compliance levels, allow for more efficient management of arrears in the future.”

The Prime Minister announced that as of March 20, 2012, a total of 221 million dollars in taxes was outstanding to the IRD, with 134 million dollars being taxes itself, and 86 million in interest and penalties.

As part of the amnesty, he said that accounts with a balance of $100 or lower will be erased from the books, and that it was up to the discretion of the Department, how taxes prior to 1998 were going to be settled.

“Now taxes prior to 1998 and tax interests and penalties amount to nearly $20 million, and taxes and interests and penalties from 1998 to the present time to March 31, 2012 amount to $200.8 million”

“The current (1998-2012) is made up of 122.4 million dollars in taxes, 68.9 million in interests and 9.4 million in penalties; and there are all types: corporation tax, personal income tax, PAYE, VAT, withholding tax, excise tax and property tax.”

The IRD has a discretion how they will deal with the taxes itself, but for the income year up to 1997, we will waive interest one hundred percent and penalties one hundred percent.”

The Prime Minister announced that between the years 1998 and 2012, while taxes would not be waived, eighty per cent of interests and penalties will be waived for the first three years, seventy per cent between 2001-2003, sixty percent between 2004 and 2007, and fifty percent between 2008 and 2010.

“In relation to 1994 and 2011 property tax; again there is no waive on the tax, but there is a penalty interest which is to be waived to the extent of eighty percent on all prior property tax,” he added.(JJ)