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Jan 14, 2013

Learn about your taxes at the 2nd Annual Revenue Fair

Today Revenue Fairs were held around the country, and like its name suggests, it is all about making sure that government receives its share of the pie. The first fair, held last year, was the brainchild of the Income Tax Department, but today’s event featured the participation of other departments with one goal – collecting revenue for the government. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The second annual revenue fair was held today at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building, formerly known as the Complex, on Mahogany Street in Belize City. The fair is to give awareness to the public on taxes and good business practices. On the display were several booths held by both public and private agencies including the City Council and Atlantic and Heritage Banks.

 

Kent Clare, Commissioner of Income Tax

Kent Clare

“The fair will last for two days in terms of the actual events on the ground. Right now you have the main location here at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building in Belize City, but we have something happening in San Pedro, San Ignacio, Punta Gorda, Orange Walk; actually it is all over towns. It’s catered mostly to the taxpaying public and we make no distinction—from those who are actually paying to those who are potential taxpayers. So you will see that some students are already here. Generally students are big supporters of the fair.”

 

While the fair was initially an Income Tax Initiative, it has grown to incorporate other departments including Customs and Excise and the General Sales Tax Departments.

 

Kent Clare

“It started off about four years ago as an income tax fair and has now migrated to revenue fair. It is not the income tax fair anymore; it is customs, income tax and GST. And I think this bodes well for the way public service si supposed to work; together and give one common service to the public.  We think it is important for them to learn what it is all about—how the budget works. You’d be surprise to know that quite a few people in our society don’t really appreciate how it works. So the fair provides an opportunity for them to understand.”

 

Cecilia Thompson of the General Sales Tax Department spoke of the message of sensitizing taxpayers and potential taxpayers.

 

Cecilia Thompson, Taxpayers Supervisor

Cecilia Thompson

“The main message that I want to send out there to consumers. GST is a consumer tax and whenever you buy at any store, look out for the green certificate on the wall; that authorizes the business to charge GST. And then following that, you must ask for your tax receipt. That is very important I cannot stress it enough. We are trying to change the culture that every Belizean when they go to the shop ask for their GST receipt. Why? Because when you purchase and they give you the receipt; that sale is round and that money goes where it is supposed to go to the government of Belize so that they can provide services for us the people of Belize.”

 

The event is two days long and similar events are being held countrywide. Duane Moody for News Five.

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3 Responses for “Learn about your taxes at the 2nd Annual Revenue Fair”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    I hope the tax people are trained to understand the purpose of why a nation taxes its people. First off , it taxes its people to provide services but never to make a profit or surplus like a past Commissioner of GST had bragged ( fortunately she is with lands Department). For a tiny poor nation, here are some of the exorbitant taxes used to oppress and suppress Belizeans’ freedom and liberties and to perpetuate home grown slavery. These taxes include but are not totally exhausted: Custom & Excise duties, Insurance and freight, Social Security taxes, General Sales taxes( repeat of Custom duties), Personal and Business income taxes, Taxes on all utilities ( water, light, telephone, Butane Gas), Gasoline/fuel taxes, general government and private sector overhead, profit margin markup, Fees for drivers’ license, fishing, logging, hunting, taxi operation, hotel occupancy taxes, market stalls fees, and many other taxes and fees not mentioned here.

  2. Stephen says:

    Taxes is good, however they need to give back to tax payers instead of giving money to gang. We try our best to get better wages by equip our self for better jobs and when we get a raise it go to TAX. We want to get our children to the best school but as you get that raise it taken away, remember only 6,500 workers are paying tax. Last year I paid over 7,000 in taxes and I got nothing back. They should have given us back the cost for the year to send our children to school. I want to send my children to christian Academy but due to too much tax and house mortgage i cannot do that. Only those who are rich can afford better schools for their children. Remember only the chosen few get scholarship so help us by giving us something back as per our student fees and other loans. check what we spent and one will see that some money should be given back to Tax payers and not to gangs. One can take $400.00 to the shop and bring back only four plastic bags with groceries which will only last for a week. The government need to give back incentives for education, sports, dependents and for mortgages.

  3. Seletar says:

    Malthus, you raise good points, but only on the taxation [revenue] side of the issue.

    What about the spending side? What is the proper role of government, what is LEGITIMATE for it to spend public money on?

    I think it should be very little — police and military, education, emergency hospital rooms, and roads and bridges. GOB spends money on far, far more than those things, not just the idiotic gang payroll. “The government that governs best, governs least.”

    When hardworking people are so overtaxed for improper expenditures, it naturally eats away at the human ambition to work hard and earn money. That destroys a nation economically, and today Belize is proof of that.

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