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$239m owed

Ricky Jordan

$239m owed

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The Inland Revenue DEPARTMENT (IRD) is owed many millions of dollars going back over 30 years, but there is some doubt about who its debtors are and to whom the department itself may be heavily in debt.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting in the Senate Chamber, streamed live on the Internet on Wednesday, the IRD’s top officials indicated that the department was owed $239 million since 1980, but expressed uncertainty regarding the identity of its debtors.
The department’s professional accountant Tyrone Lavine said strategies had been used in vain to recover the debt, which simply could not be written off. He and other top officials of the department also reported staff shortages, a lack of computer programmers, the challenges of the computer system calculating revenue on an accrual basis, and other issues.
Based on the Auditor General’s Report of 2012, the department’s accounts receivable figure in the Consolidated Financial Statements is $239 million, but Auditor General Leigh Trotman told the PAC on Wednesday that the department should have cleaned up the problem when its system was computerized, since its debt really went as far back as 1968 and could well be around $400 million.