Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 08, 2018 (SKNIS): Businesses should take advantage of the property tax amnesty programme currently in place as there are a number of benefits to be derived from it, says Edward Gift, Comptroller at the St. Kitts and Nevis Inland Revenue Department, who appeared on the June 6th edition of “Working for You.”
The amnesty runs from June 1 to June 30, 2018. However, because June 30th falls on a Saturday, automatically, under the inland revenue tax rules where they last day for preforming an act falls on a non-working day, then it moves to the next working day which will be Monday July 2nd.
Mr. Gift noted that one of the benefits to be had from the amnesty is the opportunity for businesses to reduce their expenses.
“Some businesses, just like individuals, would run into situations where they don’t pay on time and have accumulated arrears and therefore by taking advantage of this amnesty and paying the reduced amount they would have saved tremendous costs for their businesses,” he said.
He added that if businesses take advantage of the offer, that is, if they pay their taxes up front and on time, usually they will be able to cut back on spending.
“This is because the banks do not pay them interest on their current accounts,” the comptroller explained. “So, it would be better that they recognize that they’ve paid their taxes upfront.”
Those who decide to take the route of evading taxes, when they eventually are caught by the department, they would be required to pay interest and penalties in full.
“When we find persons who evade taxes, we unfortunately apply the full letter of the law to them and require them to pay all the interest and penalties because we don’t see it as something that is equitable for the other business or other common man who would have made the commitment and sacrificed and paid on time,” said Mr. Gift.
Mr. Gift said that the Property Tax Amnesty encourages businesses to “play fairly” and allows them to have a good social standing. He added that businesses who take advantage of the tax amnesty or any other government exemption or incentive, the government will require them to present a tax clearance certificate from the St. Kitts and Nevis Inland Revenue Department.
“As part of that tax clearance certificate, that is, you must have either paid off all your taxes or shown that you have made satisfactory arrangements with the Comptroller of Inland Revenue to settle those taxes on time. So, businesses themselves need to take advantage of the amnesty or ensure that they are in good standing with the Inland Revenue Department because the contracts they get from government actually came from taxes that other persons would have paid,” he explained.