(By Ernesto Cooke) – The Grenadines does not pay their fair share of taxes. Finance Minister Camilo Gonsalves says the Government will have to confront this issue if tax reform is to be dealt with.
“Non Tax compliance in the Grenadines is 50 percent, and 40 percent of the Grenadines businesses are neither registered nor filing returns”.
Gonsalves said the Grenadines is by far and the highest percentage of non-compliance anywhere in SVG.
“I was in the Grenadines for Christmas, and some workers stopped me at an establishment, they said to me, you guys in government need to do more us, look at all the people in here, all the taxes we pay, I did not have the heart to tell them the establishment for which they work don’t pay taxes”.
Gonsalves said many of them are not paying on their Airbnb or villa rentals while competing hotels are paying.
The Finance Minister said tax compliance is something the govt will have to deal with in the Grenadines and across the country.
Gonsalves says if everyone pays their taxes, everyone will pay fewer taxes, that is how it works.
Over the years, this Government has implemented a wide range of tax reform measures aimed at simplifying and modernizing the tax system; lowering the tax burden on both firms and individuals; and enhancing fairness, equity and efficiency in administering all taxes.
The tax reform strategy is ongoing. It is designed to increase the level of disposable income in workers’ hands, stimulate private sector investments, and improve overall taxpayer compliance.