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Big tax advice

Participants in last SBA forum.

Participants in last SBA forum.

Small, medium and micro enterprises that continue to grapple with the mandatory tax requirements as defined by the laws of Barbados, will have an opportunity to get expert advice from key ministry personnel at the free tax clinic to be held at the next Small Business Association members’ meeting on March 26, 2013.

The SBA, recognising that preparation and payment of taxes remains one of the major obligations any business must meet head on, will seek to give members relevant guidance and advice from expert personnel from the National Insurance Department, Inland Revenue Department and VAT Division.

These clinics, which are a regular feature on the SBA’s calendar, seek to educate members and the general public on features of the tax mechanism that they need pay attention to, areas to take advantage of and to address any other concerns that new entrepreneurs and members may have.

The SBA’s Chief Executive Officer, Lynette Holder, said the association saw the need to ensure that its members and by extension prospective entrepreneurs were fully aware of the corporate tax mechanism of the country and the clinics will be one step in removing the burden of uncertainty from their minds.

Holder however lamented that the current system of recouping VAT refunds and other moneys from the government was skewed unfavourably in the Government’s direction. She was alluding to the penalties imposed by Government on businesses that failed to pay their taxes early.

Holder noted that any responsible business had a right to impose a finance charge on outstanding receivables and small struggling businesses should also have a recourse against government when it is late in settling its debt.

The CEO noted however that while she would not encourage any member of the association to be tardy in its obligations, it was of grave concern to her when such imbalances in the system only served to further hurt businesses. Far too often, she noted, “these issues only discouraged businesses continuity”.

Highlighting the Barbados Private Sector Association’s survey which showed $49 million currently owed to the business community, Holder said she “hoped that the new administration would move swiftly to refund those SMEs who dutifully met their requirements and responsibly collected taxes on behalf of government”.

The SBA’s CEO said that she hoped that coming out of the Tax Clinics, the SBA would be in a better position to offer some further suggestions to the government that would enhance the collection process for SMEs.

The upcoming members’ meeting will take place on Tuesday March 26, 2013 at 6 p.m. at Bagnall’s Point Gallery, Pelican Village. Members of the public are invited to attend.

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