Hundreds of millions of dollars are owed to Government’s Customs Department as a result of bounced cheques issued by companies, and Government is tightening the law to stop it.
Describing the situation as “very insidious” and “particularly odious”, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler berated the fact that many business owners and directors hide behind the corporate veil to deliberately evade payment of duties and taxes to the Crown, which was owed $192 million in Value Added Tax (VAT) when the current administration came to office.
Sinckler said Government was so serious that it was now forced to amend the Customs Act, which formerly placed liability mainly on companies or corporations and was only able to hold individual directors responsible as a last resort.
Saying that Government could not afford to run the country successfully without the requisite duties being paid to it, Sinckler said “slight” adjustments would be made to Section 214A of the Customs Act, which would place liability equally on companies/corporations and their directors.
He said under the original Act, the process was so time-consuming and complicated that by the time of completion, the companies’ owners and directors would have been “long gone” to form other companies.
Full story in today’s MIDWEEK NATION