The Department of Inland Revenue is appealing to business owners to pay their taxes.

The Acting Controller of Inland Revenue Shunda Strachan spoke at a press conference held at the Department of Inland Revenue saying, “it is an offence not to remit the government’s revenue. We will also be looking at the Proceeds of Crime Act.”

One hundred and ninety three million is outstanding in Value Added Tax (VAT), on this Strachan stated, “we’re noticing businesses not applying for the business license, not reporting accurate turnovers, not registering for VAT even after having gone over the $100,000 threshold and even more egregious is businesses that are not registered for VAT but are charging VAT. So you have those categories and then of course you have those who are registered for VAT, they are filing but they’re simply not paying.”

While the amount of overall tax arrears has decreased, it was revealed that approximately $600 million is owed to the government in real property taxes. Strachan said, “we have given property owners a very long period in which to satisfy or to get their real property tax obligations in check and so we are now at the point where we’re moving to power of sale. So we engaged private collectors, we engaged about ten of them so far. Now the challenge with engaging the private collectors is according to the Public Financial Management Act the cost is passed on to them. So its a funny thing because they already have the large real property tax bill and really they can also possibly incur up to another thirty seven and a half percent of that real property tax bill if their properties are advanced to private collections.”