Finance Minister calls for more timely payment of tax refunds

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Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, has called on the Guyana Revenue Authority to ensure that taxpayers who are legitimately entitled to tax refunds receive these in a timely manner.

The Minister observed that taxpayers often complain that they have to wait an inordinate length of time before they receive tax refunds to which they are entitled. He pointed out that extended delays in paying tax refunds can have severe adverse effects on the cash flow of businesses and households, which in turn could affect both consumption and investment, and ultimately be a drag on economic activity on the whole.

The Minister emphasised, however, that more timely refunds should not in any way compromise the rigour with which the GRA verifies the legitimacy of each refund payable. Instead, Minister Singh stated that the verification and payment processes should be made more efficient to ensure that refunds are both thoroughly verified and promptly paid.

The Minister’s call for more timely processing of tax refunds comes against the backdrop of a broader drive for improved service quality across public sector agencies. At the GRA, the Minister recently addressed senior management of the Authority and directed them to work immediately to improve the quality of their interaction with taxpayers, emphasizing the importance of the highest standards of integrity and efficiency across all aspects of their operations.

Similarly, at a recent meeting with the new Board of Directors of the National Insurance Scheme, Minister Singh also highlighted the chronic problems faced by participants in the Scheme who encounter lengthy delays in getting their claims processed and in accessing their benefits. He instructed the Scheme to take immediate action to resolve these problems and ensure that contributors are able to access their benefits in a timely manner, and called on the NIS to be a more client friendly institution.

More broadly, at several recent public engagements, Minister has emphasised that the modern Guyana that is currently being built must not only be observed in the quality of the country’s physical infrastructure which is undergoing a rapid expansion and upgrade, but must also be observed in the quality of services provided by government agencies across the board. (Office of the President Press Release)

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