GRA Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia is assuring Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo that the tax body’s letters received by PPP/C parliamentarians this week, during the Consideration of Estimates of Budget 2017 was not political.
Mr Statia gave this assurance today, Friday, December 16,2016 to members of the media during a press conference. “I would assure you it was not political, so far nothing that was sent was political; so far I have not gotten any political direction.”
Nevertheless, the GRA Head has described the timing as unfortunate but explained that when he took office, among the list of persons to be notified that they needed to submit their outstanding returns were Members of Parliament on both sides of the House along with other heads of public agencies.
These letters he says were dispatched since August, adding that public officials need to be held to a higher standard and that the law requires that everyone files their returns on or before April 30 each year of the following year. This is also a requirement of the Integrity Commission.
However, Mr Statia has noted too that there have been some instances where notices were sent but persons were not accepting them and this has resulted in the authority implementing new measures. “I’ve since instructed my staff not to put the return address so they’ve been accepting mails not knowing whether it’s from the Revenue Authority or not” the GRA Head said.
Yesterday, the Opposition Leader called into question the timing five of his party’s Parliamentarians would have received notices from the tax body in relation to their property taxes, describing the move as intimidation on the part of Government and retaliation to the criticism his party mounted while in the Committee of Supply.