Tax amnesty taken with a pinch of salt

Weekend Mirror - - CHILDREN’S CORNER -

The pro­posed amnesty on tax re­turns an­nounced by Fi­nance Min­is­ter, Win­ston Jor­dan, as part of next year’s bud­get ini­tia­tive is be­ing taken with a pinch of salt by the po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion.

Jor­dan said that “amnesty will be granted to all delin­quent tax pay­ers- cor­po­rate and in­di­vid­ual- who are out­stand­ing in the fil­ing of true and cor­rect tax re­turns and payment of their true and cor­rect taxes.”

Op­po­si­tion Leader, Bhar­rat Jagdeo, feels there could be a hid­den agenda. He asked at a press con­fer­ence last week: “Why now? Why this year? Why not from the very be­gin­ning of their term?”

“Is it that there are a few com­pa­nies that they know of who have large out­stand­ing in­ter­est and penal­ties that would ac­crue to them and they are try­ing to help those com­pa­nies by giv­ing them a hun­dred per­cent write-off on all in­ter­est and penal­ties if they do it in the next few months and then 50 per­cent if they do it by Septem­ber?” he asked. To sup­port his doubt­ful ex­pres­sions, Jagdeo in­quired as to why the ad­min­is­tra­tion chose to im­ple­ment this mea­sure in Bud­get 2018 and not from the be­gin­ning of their term.

Jor­dan ex­plained that tax­pay­ers who file and pay all prin­ci­pal taxes on or be­fore June 30, 2018 will have all in­ter­est and penal­ties waived, while those who file and pay all prin­ci­pal taxes be­tween July 01, 2018 and Septem­ber 30, 2018 will have 50 per­cent of in­ter­est and penal­ties waived.

Moreover, he said that tax­pay­ers who ex­pect to ben­e­fit from this amnesty must file true and cor­rect re­turns and that those found to be in vi­o­la­tion will be sub­jected to an au­dit and the at­ten­dant penal­ties and in­ter­est will be ap­plied.

This, he says will take ef­fect f r om Jan­uary 1, 2018, through Septem­ber 30, 2018.

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