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PM urges business owners to pay up VAT, PAYE

PM urges  business  owners  to pay up VAT, PAYE


Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is urging business owners who owe Value Add Tax (VAT) and Pay as You Earn taxes (PAYE) to make the necessary payments to the relevant authorities.

Gonsalves, who was speaking at a press conference on Monday, stated that business owners would not only face civil charges, but possible criminal charges as well.{{more}}

“I hope that employers realize that they can be subject, not only to a civil process, but also to a process within the framework of the criminal law.”

He stated that since these monies once collected are supposed to be held in trust for the state, they should be handed over by the time required.

“Persons who are alleged to have deducted PAYE and not paid them over to income tax…., which are clearly trust monies, because the customers would have clearly paid… the VAT to you the employer, and under the law you are supposed to pass it over,” the Prime Minister stressed.

“Because, whatever that section is of the law, the basic principle is that both the PAYE monies and the VAT are monies held by you the employer on trust for the state,” he also added.

Gonsalves noted that while the tax officers are usually patient, it is at their discretion when and if they decided to hand a file over to the Director of Public Prosecutions, as evidenced by the case involving Dave Ames and Samuel Commissiong.

“If the Director of Public Prosecutions sends a file for one taxpayer who is a…British national and a Vincentian national it means that he is at liberty to send similar files. So that’s his judgement; he is the complainant…,” the Prime Minister explained. (CM)