Dept. of Inland Revenue continues to serve the public with online operations

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The Department of Inland Revenue (DIR) advises the business community that VAT filings remain due on April 21, 2020. Although some businesses do not have access to all their latest records at home, due the COVID-19 related closures, they are able to file VAT returns based on an estimate of turnover for the period and submit amendments later.

While there will be no penalty for businesses who submit amendments for filings during the Emergency Order, the penalties associated with late filings are still in place. During the shutdown, DIR continues to operate all its core functions online, including processing new business licence applications, real property tax filings, business licence renewals, and the establishment of payment plans for existing businesses. There is also a drop off and pick up service in place at the Carmichael Road Office and the Freeport Office of the Prime Minister during regular business hours for individuals submitting documents for VAT stamping and to apply for first home exemptions. Businesses can use the DIR hotline (242-461-8050) and the taxinquires@bahamas.gov.bs email.

The Department is also pleased to announce that applications for the Tax Deferral and Tax Exemption program are now available online. The programme provides large employers with a minimum annual turnover of $3 million to access payroll support to limit the need for further
layoffs.

These companies must have at least 25 employees. With this tax relief, businesses will be able withhold VAT due or outstanding business license between April and June to assist in meeting payroll expenses. β€œWe want to assist as many businesses as possible and encourage businesses to apply online.

Our records show that almost 50% of businesses have outstanding business licences. Not all of these are eligible for the tax credit or deferral; however, we encourage all businesses to reach out either to establish a payment plan, or to apply for the tax relief program (http://atlas.revenue.gov.bs),” said Gaynell Rolle, Action Comptroller of Inland Revenue.

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