Just over 100 Queen’s College students were actively engaged with officers from the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) as part of the tax administration’s Tax Education Outreach Programme.
Carolyn Williams-Gayle, manager communications and public relations at BRA, explained that the schools element of the outreach programme is designed to provide an introduction to the tax system for 14-18 year olds studying business, social studies and other aspects of the curriculum that prepare them for life after school.
“As the agency responsible for tax administration in Barbados, we are seeking to raise awareness among school leavers about taxation. This initiative is an excellent way to start engaging with future taxpayers as well as to ignite an interest in taxation as a career. So far, we have conducted similar activities in five secondary schools and have had some very interactive sessions,” she said.
“By explaining how tax is used and making the link to the provision of vital public services, students can have a greater appreciation for the importance of paying taxes.”
The other schools which have benefited from the programme in the past are: The St. Michael School, Daryll Jordan Secondary School, Alexandra School and the Graydon Sealy Secondary School.
Williams-Gayle highlighted that the revenue agency’s Tax Education Outreach Programme is not limited to schools but will also be engaging the public in sensitization and education activities to better inform them of their rights and obligations in relation to taxes.
“Our aim as an institution is to enhance voluntary tax compliance in Barbados. The Tax Education Outreach Programme targets all spheres and schools are but only one element of the programme. It is in our interest to ensure that current and future taxpayers are educated about all of their rights and responsibilities and how to comply. We will be actively engaging with and supplying information for individuals, businesses and sectoral agencies as we focus our efforts on encouraging and supporting voluntary compliance,” she said.