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Sinckler: Tax refunds coming soon

RANDY BENNETT, [email protected]

Sinckler: Tax refunds coming soon

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Those persons who are still owed tax refunds from the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) might be getting their money sooner rather than later.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler yesterday revealed that he had instructed his ministry to work on paying out those monies “as soon as possible”.

Speaking at a seminar hosted by BRA to launch its Tax Administration Management Information System (TAMIS) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Sinckler admitted that it was not fair for persons to be paying their taxes but unable to receive their refunds.

“The partnership goes both ways. If I am going to be asked to pay in and I should pay in, then the Barbados Revenue Authority should be in a position when called upon by law or otherwise to pay out.

“I have instructed the Ministry of Finance working with the Central Bank to put in place a system as quickly as possible to make sure that we can get the flow of refunds back to persons in Barbados; businesses, the VAT, corporation tax, individuals’ income tax refunds and to do so in a responsible way that does not cause either disruption to the economy or damage to the financial system . . . ,” Sinckler reported.

The minister acknowledged that paying tax refunds depended heavily on the amount of money in Government’s coffers.

However, he said it was important that a hasty solution was found in an effort to protect the image of the BRA.

“Now I have always said there is no separate expenditure item in Government’s Budget called tax refunds. Tax refunds are a function of how much money you collect in revenue. Tax refunds have to deal with the flow in, so once the money flows in it can flow out,” Sinckler explained.

“Sometimes the system gets clogged and I believe it is incumbent on the administration through the Ministry of Finance and other entities to find an appropriate and quick solution to the backlog of tax refunds that we have in Barbados because it is affecting the integrity of the Barbados Revenue Authority as seen as a partner in thetax administration system.

“I’m not going to blame it on the Accountant General because he can’t pay what he doesn’t have, so we have to find a way to break that deadlock,” he added. (RB)

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