BRA responds to privacy concerns
The Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) is assuring the public that it’s taking all the necessary steps to ensure that the privacy of Barbadians is maintained and secure as it carries out its mandate of tax administration.
In response to comments made in the media recently, the BRA has confirmed that as part of its annual audit planning, it has been conducting audits in the pharmaceutical sector.
While also confirming that a number of issues have been raised by pharmacists, Revenue Commissioner Margaret Sivers said the Authority is committed to clarity and will develop guidelines to further ensure that the privacy of Barbadians is maintained.
Sivers said any information requested of business owners by tax officers is related to the accuracy of revenue figures and the application of the law.
“The Authority does not in any way wish to view any private prescription information related to members of the public and talks will be held to make sure that any policy taken is mindful of the emotional well-being and legal rights of taxpayers,” she said.
Sivers also explained that a recent meeting the Authority, held with more than 50 pharmacists, is part of an ongoing sensitisation plan, which sees the engagement of the BRA with groups representing various sectors on the island in order to share information and garner feedback.
“From last year, we have been proactively engaging with several agencies in an effort to not only help them better understand their tax obligations but to have discourse of issues, new and emerging. This is an important function as a tax administration. These meetings have been fostering dialogue with the various groups in Barbados and we will continue this programme as a means of supporting taxpayers in being voluntarily compliant,” Sivers added.