The Inland Revenue Department held a press conference yesterday, October 10, to update the media on the latest developments relating to the Tax Amnesty 2016. The amnesty is one out of a package of tax relief measures announced by the Political Leader of the United Workers Party, Allen Chastanet when he announced the Five to Stay Alive initiative, prior to the release of the party manifesto.
A press release from the Inland /revenue Department read: “The ‘amnesty’, number four on the list is described by Mr. Chastanet to be ‘very dear to his heart’.”
The release went on to quote the Prime Minister as saying: “The United Worker’s Party will have a targeted amnesty on hospital fees owed to Victoria and St. Jude Hospital. It is unacceptable that a person who is unemployed or is a pensioner feels degraded to go to the hospital because they cannot pay their bill. What kind of Government; what kind of man does it take to be able to impose that kind of wickedness on the people of this country?”
The ‘tax relief’ measures included in the Five to Stay Alive include the immediate reduction and ultimate removal of the dreaded Value Added Tax, the reduction in vehicle license fees by 50 percent of the increase, doubling of school feeding and transportation subsidies, the implementation of a targeted amnesty on hospital fees owed to Victoria and St. Jude Hospital and the removal of personal property tax for a period of three years.
Speaking at Monday’s press conference, Inland Revenue Comptroller Sophia Henry elaborated: “For the period 1996 to 2015, any taxpayer who has any outstanding amount up to December 2015, all the penalty will be waived. Property tax, it will cover any amounts outstanding up to income year 2014. The amnesty is for a period of 17 months, from October 1, 2016, to February 28, 2018.”
The Comptroller said penalties will be waived in full and interest of 60, 80 or 100 percent waived based on the settlement date.
“If taxes are settled by February 2017, there will be a full waiver of the penalty and interest so the tax payer will only pay the tax amount,” Henry told the media. “If the taxes are settled by November 2017, again full waiver of penalty, but 80 percent waiver of the interest. If the taxes are settled by February 2018, full waiver of penalty, and interest of 60 percent will be waived.”
Taxpayers with arrears are asked to contact the Inland Revenue Department to take advantage of the amnesty.