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Jun 27, 2019

G.S.T. Auditing B.T.L.’s Financial Accounts

The General Sales Tax Department is conducting an audit of B.T.L.’s accounts. News Five has received voluminous information and documents which show the telecom giant purportedly owing the Government of Belize millions of dollars in G.S.T.  Said debt dates back to 2012, which according to the documents obtained show that by the end of 2017 ballooned to twenty-nine point three million dollars. If you do the math, a ten percent penalty of two point nine million dollars increases the debt to thirty-two point two million dollars. That figure is further increased with an interest rate of eighteen percent per annum. So, as of December 2018, B.T.L. purportedly owes the government some fifty point one million dollars in taxes. It is an astounding figure because B.T.L. collects G.S.T. on all its services to Belizeans. Today, News Five contacted Nestor Vasquez, Chairman of the Board at Belize Telemedia Limited. Vasquez told News Five that B.T.L. does not owe a single penny to the Government. In fact, Vasquez went further to say that B.T.L. has always paid its taxes on time and to the last dollar. A press release from the company reiterates what Vasquez says. The statement reads, “B.T.L. firmly denies that the Company owes General Sales Tax as alleged in the article or at all. B.T.L. has always paid and continues to pay the appropriate G.S.T. on a monthly basis. B.T.L. has not been assessed with respect to G.S.T.”   Vasquez then directed us to Financial Secretary Joseph Waight for further information. Well, according to the Fin Sec, the G.S.T. Department is currently auditing B.T.L.’s financial accounts.

 

On the Phone: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“My understanding of that situation is that the G.S.T. department is doing an assessment, doing a review of- it is almost like an audit of the B.T.L. accounts. It has not been completed. No assessment has been issued and therefore there has been no claim against B.T.L. We want to have a meeting with all the parties concerned to see what we can work out. I don’t know what the figure is. I heard a figure in the press which sounds to me astounding.”

 

Reporter

“Twenty-nine million.”

 

On the Phone: Joseph Waight

“That can’t be. That cannot be right ever, in my view. But I really I don’t have the details in front of me but no assessment has been issued. And therefore it is not a live matter in front of us just now.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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