Long wait at BRA for last minute taxpayers
There was a steady stream of people going to pay the controversial Municipal Solid Waste Tax over the past few days as they made every effort to meet today’s 1 pm deadline and avoid the penalties.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited the Treasury Building, Bridgetown location of the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) around midday today, there was a long queue stretching outside that office and onto the sidewalk.
Among them were senior citizens, but they did not have to wait long as a special system was implemented for them. They were escorted to a waiting area and their bills taken from them and processed.
BRA’s communications officer Erica Lazare said she was expecting a lot of people would try to make their payments at the last minute.
“People have been, since Christmas finished, coming to pay the Municipal Solid Waste Tax in their numbers. There were long lines yesterday too. People are paying. People come last minute. It happens and we were kind of expecting this,” she said.
Up to this afternoon it was not clear how many individuals and businesses still had not paid up.
From next month, those who did not pay the tax by the deadline will incur a penalty of five per cent of the unpaid amount and an interest rate of one per cent every month on the penalty of the unpaid tax.
“I can’t say if anything might change in the future but that is the current situation,” Lazare said.
“The penalties and interest will be applied after today.”
BRA issued a statement yesterday reminding taxpayers that the amnesty Government extended to taxpayers on interest and penalties accrued at December 31, 2014, did not extend to the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, only to Land Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Income Tax.
BRA said the amnesty on penalties for the late payment of the Land Tax, VAT and Income Tax has been granted “on the condition that any outstanding principal must be paid on or before March 15, 2015”.