(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Inland Revenue Department, a critical revenue collection agency for the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, has moved its operations across the street from where it was to the John Gumbs Building on the Bay Road, Basseterre, effectively offering customers a more spacious environment and accessible service.
A blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new location was held earlier today (Monday, June 25), after which invited guests, which included members of the Team Unity Cabinet, were given a tour of the new office spaces.
Comptroller of the St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Inland Revenue, Mr. Edward Gift, said the new location not only offers more space, but that it boasts an advanced queuing system, as well as dedicated service areas that allow for greater privacy for customers when conducting business.
“In our opinion, no other public organization touches the lives more on a daily basis than that of the Inland Revenue Department,” Mr. Gift said. “We are also of the strong opinion that we are the most frequently contacted of all public institutions within the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. Our ability to manage this relationship and achieve healthy and sustainable levels of compliance is a critical factor in shaping public attitudes towards the government.”
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, also gave an address at today’s blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony. There, Prime Minister Harris reiterated that the Inland Revenue Department plays an important role in the proper functioning of society.
Dr. Harris quoted US Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who stated that “The taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”
“Without healthy collections by the revenue collecting agencies of the state, of which Inland Revenue is one of the most important one, we certainly would not be able to finance education, we certainly would not be able to increase the budget which has tripled with respect to national security, we certainly would not be able to add to the CCTV programme and we certainly would not be able to provide the vehicles at the round-a-bouts and [other] strategic intersections of Basseterre and the country,” said Prime Minister Harris.
The Finance Minister also used the occasion to urge individuals to be in compliance with the various tax laws and obligations. Dr. Harris made reference of the Property Tax amnesty programme introduced by the Government that continues this month.
“We hope that people will take the opportunity to make good on their non-compliance with respect to their taxes, especially because we are able to show where the tax dollar is going. It is going to develop the country; it’s going to our roads, it’s going into health infrastructure, it’s going in our stadiums, it’s going to assist…hundreds of people all over the country to get their roofs repaired.”
The amnesty runs from June 1 to June 30, 2018. However, because June 30 falls on a Saturday, automatically, under the Inland Revenue tax rules where the last day for performing an act falls on a non-working day, then it moves to the next working day, which will be Monday July 2.