Inland Revenue introduces tax incentive program

A new Tax Incentive Program has been introduced to help residential and commercial customers who have been defaulting on tax payments and accumulating both tax and interest.

Senior tax officer, Junior Herbert said the Inland Revenue Bureau decided to create the program, which offers a 100% waiver of interest only if the tax portion is paid on or before December 31st.

“What we’re looking forward for is as many people to take advantage [of the program.] it is really an opportunity for people to come and current [in payments.] When you look at it, the year end is fast approaching and you will have another tax portion to pay in 2012.”

Although the deadline to pay all outstanding taxes to the bureau is December 31st, a Saturday, the Bureau is willing to be flexible with persons who cannot make that date.

Herbert added, “Although we’re saying a suitable arrangement can be made up to the 30th of December, we’re actually willing to extend to those [persons] who may not be able to pay in full at the end of December. We will extend that period for up to four months. So, they will have up to April.”

Meanwhile, Iroy Clarke, a senior valuation officer, emphasized several challenges the Bureau faces when it comes to delinquent tax payers.

“We have problems with ownership, that is, who the current and true owners of property are. We [also] have problems with overseas owners and mail not reaching them. [Several times] the mail comes back saying ‘Person not known.’ Along with these are a great deal of dilapidated, abandoned buildings and we don’t know who owns them. So, even though there may be a name on the tax roll, the mail keeps coming back. So, there is a major problem with delinquent tax payers.”

While there is a 100% waiver of interest when tax is paid, Clarke said that residential property valued over a certain amount could be subject to a tax exemption.

To this, Clarke said, “There is a $80,000 exemption on all residential properties. For instance, if property is valued at $120,000 then $80,000 out of that is exempted from paying tax. So, we would only tax you on the remaining $40,000.”

The tax rate at the Inland Revenue Bureau stands at 0.2% of the value of residential buildings and 0.3% for commercial buildings. However, if property is valued under $80,000, then one is exempted from paying the building tax, but on the other hand, land tax still has to be paid.

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