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Jun 24, 2019

A New Tax Administration and Procedure Bill

John Briceño

On Friday, the House of Representatives read through the Tax Administration and Procedure Bill 2019 which essentially sees a merger of the Income Tax and General Sales Tax departments.  The purpose is to facilitate the official and effective administration and collection of domestic taxes.  While the opposition supported the move, concerns were raised in respect of public officers reportedly being done away with from the department as it goes into amalgamation.  Opposition Leader John Briceño expressed these concerns when the bill was brought forward for second reading.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Some observations that we have Madame Speaker, whilst we do not object to the amalgamation of the Income Tax Department and GST, because I believe that there are certain synergies that can be put into effect that can be necessary and when I checked around in another countries when they have done that, the increase of taxes has gone up dramatically.  The government is always in need of more money so probably they see the urgency to do this and ironically it’s something that had been in the works for several years.  But the concern, Madame Speaker, that I have is that some members from the GST and the Income Tax Department have been expressing some concern and the concern is that all of them are being told you can either apply for early retirement or you could apply to stay in the same department in that same position or apply for another post in the department.  The concern here Madame Speaker, is there is a feeling within members of staff from both Income Tax and GST, so it’s almost that there is a, like the government is taking the opportunity to kind of purge out people who they feel do not support them and so there are certain people that are being told that they cannot reapply or they need to apply for early retirement or go to another department.”


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