GCCI President wants authorities to go after those escaping the tax system

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Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) President Vishnu Doerga says whatever rules apply to the Private Sector must be a reflection of everyone else especially self-employed individuals and unregistered businesses.

Doerga said the body will continue to advocate for “better enforcement on the people who are not contributing to the development of Guyana.”

The GCCI President believes that once authorities like the Guyana Revenue Authority and the National Insurance Scheme are able to capture individuals evading their systems then it is likely that taxes could be significantly cut.

“We would strongly encourage those in power to make sure they put significant effort in going after those people who are completely off the net,” said Deorga.

He said “if there is no enforcement on those people who are operating illegally, every time we (GCCI Members) pay more, the legitimate Private Sector pays more, then it becomes an even more of a disadvantage.”

Finance Minister Winston Jordan in his budget presentation for 2017 would have announced several measures the current administration would be implementing to ensure individuals are paying their taxes.

Failure to keep proper books and present records to GRA have now attracted penalties such as 200 thousand dollars or five percent of the tax assessed, whichever is greater along with six-month imprisonment for failing to produce such books and records.

It was highlighted in the 2013 Auditor General’s report that based on figures from GRA there are over 75 thousand active self-employed persons in the country but only some 33 thousand would have filed taxes during that year.

The AG report noted that such defaulters represent 3.307 Billion dollars in taxes and penalties for the revenue authority.

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