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Jan 12, 2012

Important lessons from the Tax Fair

The annual Revenue Tax Fair kicked off today in six locations across the country. Three departments that bring in revenue to the government coffers organized the event. In Belize City, activities were held at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building on Mahogany where the Income Tax, GST and Customs partnered with stakeholders to educate the public on the collection and use of tax revenues. Earlier today, the commissioner of Income Tax, Kent Claire, told News Five that with decreasing grant funding, the economy has become more dependent on taxes.

Kent Claire, Commissioner of Income Tax

“It’s the first revenue tax fair and it’s a first because it’s the first time it is co-sponsored by the three revenue departments in Belize; Customs, GST and Income Tax. Prior to that, Income Tax had held the fair and I think the Ministry of Finance felt that we could do better and we could provide combined services to the people of Belize.”

Delahnie Bain

Kent Claire

“So what are the activities that you have today?”

Kent Claire

“Well, basically what we have done, we have partnered with—the departments have partnered with people like the Chamber of Commerce and the City Council, some of the commercial banks; those who work together to make taxation work. And the whole idea is to alert rank and file tax payers and particularly students. If you look around, quite a number of students are here to educate them about—not only about collection, but what it does and the services that are provided to make the country run. So that’s one of the things that’s always highlighted when we do international reports, the level of service that we give in terms of tax payer education.  It’s very urgent when we consider that if we look on the news recently, we have people talking about the fact that donor funds are depleting. We’re not getting as many grants and so on and gifts. So for our country to move forward, it has to rely on its taxes and that has to be underscored. If we want to provide better and increased goods and services, we have to address the issue of tax and address it in a way that people can understand. So that’s extremely important.”

The fair continues on Friday at the Charles Bartlett Hyde building in Belize City as well as in San Pedro, San Ignacio, Independence Village, Belmopan and Corozal.

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