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Another tax amnesty?

With a number of Barbadians still awaiting payment of their outstanding tax returns, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler today called on business operators to pay up outstanding taxes to Government.

At the same time, he hinted at the possibility of another tax amnesty while suggesting that Government could fully empathize with those businesses – especially small operators – who were currently feeling the economic strain.

“I say that in all seriousness, because the system is interlocked, if one part does not function well enough, then the other part is hobbled, and then we keep shouting at each other,” he said in an address to the official opening of the Regus business centre in Welches, St Thomas this afternoon.

However, he assured that Government had no interest in seeing Barbadian businesses go under, while noting, “over the last few years has had amnesties on top of amnesties”.

“Probably will have some in the future again, but you know the thing with amnesties they become encourageable. When people know an amnesty is coming they decide, ‘I am not going to pay, I am going to wait on the next amnesty’ . . .. Our job is not to close businesses, our job is to keep businesses opened, keep people employed and keep economic activities going. So we have to find a way to reinforce each other and ensure we work our way down from any precipice that we may find ourselves perched upon,” Sinckler added.

Here, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler (right)is joined by businessman Ralph Bizzy Williams (second from right) and Managing Director of the Regus Business Centre Mark Linehan (left) in cutting the ribbon at today’s opening.

Here, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler (right)is joined by businessman Ralph Bizzy Williams (second from right) and Managing Director of the Regus Business Centre Mark Linehan (left) in cutting the ribbon at today’s opening.

As for the current situation in which Government has been slow in paying tax refunds, he said it was neither one his ministry enjoyed nor wished to see “drag on inordinately”.

“Over the past year Government has adopted a more assured and aggressive strategy towards dealing with this unsustainable yet understandable situation. This is reflected in the fact that between April 15, [2015] and March 2016, Government paid out roughly $202, 254,000 to Barbadians. Of this amount, the highest, $82 million was paid in VAT returns with another $72 million in income tax returns and $33 million in corporation tax returns,” he said to applause.

“Needless to say, payments are continuing apace at speed that is necessary to effect liquidation of the booked liabilities, and will be done of course as resources allow and cash flow improves,” assured Sinckler.

“We can only ask for two things from our partners and stakeholders in the system. Though it is difficult, we ask for your continued patience and support as collectively we seek to bring resolution to these challenges,” he said.

4 Responses to Another tax amnesty?

  1. Alex Alleyne July 6, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Installments would have been better. Why should these wealthy people not pay taxes while (some) their children drive to school and about in “top-of-the-line’ automobiles.

  2. jrsmith July 6, 2016 at 5:47 am

    The contemptuous treatment of bajans by the government and the put down just make you feel we are living in a different zone..

    Barbados should be and can do a lot better, but our lazy overrated politicians is preventing our island from prosperity…
    another amnesty for whom , again this shows how our government ministers are so in over they heads..

    If we are to follow the media the failing of not being able to set up and enforce proper tax collection in Barbados is a major problem, but because certain dishonest people is allowed to get away with not paying taxes, this is putting pressure on the poorest people in our nation…

    What has happen to Barbados our politicians have brought us into conflict , buy allowing and safe guarding the behaviour of the small minority on our island. Thats why the government cannot enforce the necessary tax collection rules….

    You only need to look back on the (AUDIT GENERAL ) report to see the fraud and corruption which goes on in Barbados.. because in many clean democracies around the world most of our government and upper public sector management should be under lock down at (DODDS) we are it the d…g s…t….

  3. Joan Wickham
    Joan Wickham July 6, 2016 at 7:28 am

    yuh can’t get blood from stone, ppl do not have money trees, the more you tax, the higher the prices which leaves no money for ppl to spend which contracts the economy,which means less jobs more down sizeing, which means less money for you, BRANIAC, ECONOMICS 101

  4. BoboTheClown July 6, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    “I told you so” . Wasn’t that a country and western song by Randy Travis?
    Well once again the in power Government has made fools of the Barbadian populace. Another amnesty? Who are they kidding ?They are people struggling to feed their families and this Government don’t seem to give a proverbial hoot .
    When someone has followed the law and filed income tax return by the date stipulated by the Government and two years later have not gotten their tax return ,and not a whimper from the treasury as to why , something needs to be done to ensure that they’ll never have another term in Office once the present ends. In a single word Ridiculous .


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