Land tax payers now have Cave Shepherd Card Services through which to make their payments to the Barbados Revenue Authority, the agency has announced.
The revenue collection and tax administration agency announced that effective immediately, the over 110,000 taxpayers could use the send/receive feature on the Cave Shepherd App to make their land tax payments when they become due.
The new Cave Shepherd App payment method is an addition to the authority’s digitization efforts, following on its recently implemented Tax Administration Management Information System (TAMIS), and the eZPay+ platform that is used to pay for various government services.
Making the announcement at the BRA’s Weymouth, St Michael location today, Acting Revenue Commissioner Wayne Forde said the additional payment method was one of the ways the agency was seeking to become more efficient and effective.
Stating that the changes were being made at a time when consumer expectations were changing and increasing while tax compliance regimes were being constantly changed, Forde said it was important that Barbados keep up with the developments.
He said the continued digitization of various aspects of the BRA’s operation would lead to improved business facilitation and increased investment.
Forde said: “For us at the authority, improving service delivery and integrating technology are deemed as two of our most important strategic goals.
“With Government spearheading the modernization, digitalization and transformation of the public sector, this is but one aspect of how we at the revenue authority are helping to fulfill that vision.
“This initiative with the Cave Shepherd Card Services is a good example of public and private sector partnership towards facilitating ease and increasing efficiency in our operations.”
The revenue chief is hoping that the additional payment platform would help to improve tax payment compliance, adding that taxation was “vital to the functioning of our society”.
He said the BRA would continue to build out its digital footprint, adding that plans were in the pipeline for enhancing the service experience of BRA and expanding online payment to the other taxes.
Forde also disclosed that BRA was mulling the distribution of land tax bills electronically.
There are currently just over 35,000 Cave Shepherd cardholders, and just over 20,000 of them have so far downloaded and are registered on the app.
Once Cave Shepherd cardholders download the application on their mobile device they can make the payment through the send/receiver (peer-to-peer) feature.
The land tax payer would need the last four digits of their account number, the BRA telephone number attached to that payment system. They would also fill out the map reference field with a unique set up numbers and the year the tax is being paid for.
With the next issue of land tax bills around May, officials are expected to launch a marketing campaign soon to sensitize the taxpayers.
Alison Browne-Ellis, Director of Card Services with the Cave Shepherd Card Services said the pilot phase started in December.
She said: “With the growing concerns around productivity in our country, we see this partnership with the Barbados Revenue Authority as a step in the right direction”.
“The ability to reduce foot traffic and long wait times across the various Barbados Revenue Authority offices builds a case for the future of digital payment across all government agencies.”
She said during the next phase of the partnership, cardholders will be able to use the Cave Shepherd card mobile app within the BRA offices to make digital payments using QR code technology with tablets that are to be made available.
Browne-Ellis said: These two digital payment methods will allow for enhanced experience, diversification of payment options and overall efficiency within the Barbados Revenue Authority.”