Tax defaulters beware!
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler today served notice to those taxpayers who currently owe Government millions of dollars in outstanding value added tax, income tax and land tax that they must pay up by February or else.
The warning comes ahead of this week’s official launch of a five-month amnesty, which Sinckler announced during his August 16 Budget presentation in Parliament.
At the time, Sinckler had revealed that the amnesty would run from September 15, 2016 through to February 15, 2017. However, today he went further to warn of consequences for those who fail to settle their outstanding debts by the allotted deadline.
“Our position is that after this amnesty ends in February, there is going to be a very vigorous approach by the Barbados Revenue Authority and the authorities generally to collect all of those taxes that are due to Government,” said Sinckler in a statement issued by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS).
The Minister of Finance did not go into detail on what action would be taken. However, he strongly urged on taxpayers to take full advantage of their last tax reprieve.
Stressing that a substantial amount of money had been owed to Government, he said it was expected that for the financial year 2016/2017, at least $15 million could be collected.
“Everybody wants to get their income tax refund and their VAT refund . . . . Refunds are paid out of the cash that comes in; if people do not pay in the cash we can’t pay it out . . . .
“We do not think it is fair that the average citizen is paying his or her tax on time and in full and cannot get the residual benefit of a refund because the Government does not have the cash because somebody else in the community is not paying in their fair share. We are going to be going after them, but to be fair we are giving an amnesty . . . so just come in and make arrangements to pay your principal,” Sinckler urged.