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Photo: Comptroller Gift (left) and Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards (right) shake hands.


Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 26, 2017 (SKNIS):  As tax administrators from across the CARICOM region assemble in St. Kitts and Nevis for the 24th General Assembly and Technical Conference of the Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators (COTA), Edward Gift, Comptroller of Inland Revenue Department, used the opportunity to remind entrepreneurs that the onus is on them to ensure that their taxes are paid in full and on time.


“Businesses we know have a responsibility to pay taxes on time and as it is internationally recognized, they have the right to organize their affairs to ensure that they pay the least possible tax. This is a principle that we as tax administrations respect,” said the comptroller. “However, we do recognize that through cooperation, both of us working together, that we could achieve the aim whereby we [guarantee] that at the end of this process that we help the businesses to ensure that they pay their right amount of tax on time and government gets its equal tax, which is for the benefit of its citizens.”


Commenting on the theme of the conference, “Promoting Voluntary Tax Compliance and Cooperation”, Mr. Gift said that the whole importance is that as tax administrators it is recognized that their role has changed.


“That is, we as tax administrators, are actually in a partnership with businesses where both of us are trying to achieve the same aim. That is, promoting voluntary compliance where we are ensuring as a tax administration that businesses are appropriately registered to pay the right amount of tax, they are filing this tax on time, and they are reporting the current amount of tax,” he said.


The comptroller encouraged and challenged tax administrators to “open up their minds and welcome the different principles that will be presented on the new approach to voluntary tax compliance built upon cooperation”, as they work to discuss available options to improve tax administrations within the CARICOM region.


COTA 24 is hosted by the St. Kitts and Nevis Inland Revenue Department. Among topics to be discussed are information exchange and the consequences of such, as well as effects upon the Federal Government and other CARICOM jurisdictions.

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