“ If we are talking about not having unsustainable pensions, it is only fair that we collect our taxes”.
Prime Minister Gonsalves on Tuesday while speaking about the 301.8 Million in outstanding taxes owed to the government said he has been telling the Inland Revenue Department for the last couple of years that they need to be more focused in the collection of the taxes.
Gonsalves noted that the IMF report made the same point, so it is not an original point that he came up with.
“ I told them this is not acceptable”.
Gonsalves said up to November 2017, the government collected 523 Million in revenue, of which 133 Million is on incomes and profits, for Personal Tax, Corporate Tax and Withholding tax.
He said up to November last year also the government collect 46.5 Million dollars in corporate taxes, however, 85 million is owed.
“ In the aggregate, in an accumulative sense it’s a lot of money, and the full personal income tax collected up to November 2017 is just over 73 Million, but 28.5 Million owed, and these are not people from whom you have PAYE”.
Gonsalves said the full force of all the legal and administrative remedies will have to be pursued by the Income Tax Department.
“ I expect the Minister of Finance will outline in his budget speech how he is going to tackle it.”
Gonsalves said he has defined the problem to the nation and said something has to be done, and more than what is being done.
He said Inland Revenue is doing many things but needs to do more.