2% reduction of VAT not being filtered to consumers; GRA going after defaulting businesses

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The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) enforcement officers have found that consumers are not benefitting from the budget measure.

During a recent Press Conference, Commissioner-General of the GRA, Godfrey Statia noted that businesses are instead using the 2% VAT reduction to increase their profit margins. “What we have found is even though the rate has been decreased, the prices have remained the same. We have found that the two percent is not being passed on to the buyers or, to the consumers,” Statia said.

As such, the entity on Friday last, said it will be dispatching its enforcement officers to ensure compliance with the law.

He explained that the prices were checked before the implementation of the new measure, thus making it possible to do comparisons. “In January of this year, we checked to see what were some of the prices and how they used to do it, and when we went back the prices have remained the same,” he said.

The Authority meanwhile is advising businesses to take corrective actions in such cases and consumers to be vigilant and report entities that fail to adhere to the changes in the prices of goods and services.

Reduction in the VAT rate by 2% came into effect on February 1, 2017, following amendments to the Value Added Tax Regulations 2016.

Additionally, the amendment provides for an increase in the VAT threshold from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000 annually. This new measure now makes it mandatory for businesses to register for VAT if their annual sales are equivalent to or exceed the threshold of fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).

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