VAT on water, electricity removed; deadline extended for tax returns

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The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has approved additional relief measures to help in combatting the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Below is the full statement from the GRA: 

Georgetown, GRA, April 7, 2020: In the ongoing national effort to support businesses and individuals who have been socially and economically disadvantaged by the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government of Guyana today approved a number of additional tax relief measures.

The following will, therefore, be implemented on the effective dates specified:

  1. Removal of VAT on Water and Electricity with effect from April 01, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
  2. Removal of VAT on Domestic Air Travel with effect from April 08, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
  3. Extension of the April 30th deadline for the filing of tax returns to June 30, 2020. However, estimated remaining taxes using “management financial statements”, for the Year of Income 2019 (Year of Assessment 2020) must be paid by April 30th, 2020.
  4. The Authority will expedite the processing of VAT refunds for businesses and PAYE refunds for employees.

Despite having employees working from home, the Authority continues to provide essential services to the taxpaying public and at the same time, collect vital revenue necessary for the provision of services to the people of Guyana and is also fast-tracking the provision of its services electronically including the submission of documents and payments.

In addition, working employees are rotated on a weekly basis, and at the close of work every Friday, the entire building is fumigated so that persons returning to work on Monday come to a clean environment.

The GRA also continues to provide the essential services needed to clear all items, both by air and sea, and also to expedite exports.

The measures announced above are in addition to those announced earlier which, for the avoidance of doubt, are re-listed hereunder:

  • The waiver of VAT and duties on COVID 19 medical supplies and lab testing kits.
  • The granting of Tax deductions for all donations made by local businesses to staff and health institutions for the treatment of the virus.
  • The deferral of the payment of advance corporate and individual advance taxes for the Year of Assessment 2021 (Year of Income 2020) and PAYE for affected businesses until June 30, 2020. For example, airline and tourism and associated industries, like hotels and transportation, who continue to employ their employees, or send their employees on extended vacation leave, the payment of advance taxes will be deferred without penalty and interest; and
  • Affected businesses will pay advance taxes on the current year basis.

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