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Tax defaulters may soon face charges of tax evasion

Tax defaulters may soon face charges of tax evasion


PERSONS WHO DID not take up the government’s tax amnesty offer in 2018 may soon find themselves before the local courts on tax evasion charges.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday during debate on the Income Tax Amendment Bill, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has already handed over a list of names to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The Prime Minister said the IRD is awaiting the response of the DPP, which

will determine the way forward in relation to tax defaulters.

He also noted that closer monitoring needs to be paid to professionals who offer services locally. “The income tax department is not doing a good job with …persons who are earning incomes from services; doctors, lawyers….

“There are lawyers who driving big motor cars all about and living well and I understand that they reporting loses or near loses; architects, accountants, auditors…,” said the Prime Minister.

Last year, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves announced a tax amnesty and encouraged persons to settle their arrears with the IRD, but over the amnesty period, only EC$8 million of the approximately $300 million which is estimated to be owed was collected.

The majority of money owed to the IRD comes from Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay as You Earn (PAYE) which was collected or deducted respectively, but has not been handed over to the IRD