Tax defaulters get amnesty
Government has offered a five-month tax amnesty for taxpayers across all categories of Value Added Tax (VAT), Income Tax and Land Tax.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler made the announcement Tuesday evening while pointing out that Government’s main revenue collection agency, the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA), would be “aggressively” going after tax dodgers after the amnesty has expired.
“As a measure used in the past with some success, Government will again offer, from September 15, 2016 through to February 15, 2017, the implementation of a tax amnesty for taxpayers across the tax categories of VAT, Income tax and Land tax. The waiving of all penalties, interest and other charges incurred up to September 14, 2016 will assist the Barbados Revenue Authority in its tax administration and collection efforts,” Sinckler announced as he presented the highly anticipated 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
“To benefit from the amnesty, the taxpayer would have to pay the outstanding principal on or before February 15, 2017. Using data from VAT and Land Tax alone, and considering the outstanding taxes of $568 million, it is expected that for the financial year 2016/2017 an amount at least $15 million may be collectable, based on past experiences,” the minister predicted.
He warned taxpayers who are delinquent to take advantage of the amnesty in order to avoid an penalty.
Sinckler said too often when amnesties were given taxpayers would say they either did not hear about it or they did not put the necessary arrangements in place to take advantage. However, he promised that this time there would be no leniency.
“Let me make it clear Madam Deputy Speaker, this is the last amnesty we are offering for some period of time.
“This is a [five]-month period you have to pay those outstanding taxes. Use it. Use it and use it wisely. Thereafter the Barbados Revenue Authority will be aggressively coming after those who have decided that they will not take advantage of these opportunities as they have been presented repeatedly all the time,” Sinckler warned.