Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said the government will have to deal with the serious matter of outstanding taxes, including penalties and interest in 2018.
“ You get a lot of talk about how much the government owes the private sector, and that number is not a significant number relevant to the business the government does”.
“ Of course for an individual enterprise, if monies owed to them are not paid it could be pressure on them, and am talking globally, we must all ensure that we pay what we owe on a timely basis”.
As of the end of 2017, the Central Government was owed in revenues an aggregate number of 301.8 Million dollars.
177.4 Million dollars is the base tax that is owed across all categories of taxes, and the remainder is in penalties 26.8 Million an 97.5 Million in interest.
“ You know when you owe the Government taxes and it continues under the Vat Act, the interest is 1.5 percent per month and annually is 18 percent so the interest is high”.
Gonsalves if you are owing taxes it suits the business find to get a loan from the bank to deal with such because confronting the tax man with penalties and interest of 18 percent it could squeeze you extraordinarily.
“ But note what I said, against all categories of taxes”.
Gonsalves gave a break down of a number of taxes owed in various categories, however, he said it is from the base tax of 177.4 Million, not including penalties and interest.
Corporation Taxes 85 Million
Personal income Tax 28.5 Million
Withholding Tax 5.2 Million
He said the ordinary man would be concerned with all the taxes owed, however, he thinks the two that would really revolt them are the taxes owed on VAT.
The base tax 34.3 Million dollars on which you have penalties of 22.8 Million and interest of 11.5 Million giving you a total of 68.7 Million.
PAYE just over 24 Million dollars, interest on such is over Million dollars.
Gonsalves said persons who owe these tax will have to do something urgently, VAT money, these are monies which people have already paid to the government, whether you buy something at a restaurant or a store in town.
“So we expect when you pay, the VAT should be paid over in accordance with the law, it’s a criminal offence if you don’t do it”.
PAYE 24 Million dollars, “ there are people who deduct the workers pay as you earn contribution which they should pay to the inland revenue, but they keep it”.
Gonsalves said the government is going to tackle these matters vigorously this year 2018.