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Jul 2, 2019

Business Owners & Managers Face Penalties for GST Noncompliance

Mark Lizarraga

The disclosure of the documents came on the day that the Senate debated and ratified the Tax Administration and Procedure Bill.  The bill contains several components ultimately designed to increase government revenue.  As part of the new law, companies, managers and financial officers responsible for ensuring that a company keeps up with its taxes, can be held liable and face penalties for non-compliance.  According to Senator Lizarraga, the law allows the G.S.T. Department to carry out an audit as far back as twelve years of a company’s life.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Private Sector

“It seems there is a vast difference between the way B.T.L. is paying the taxes and the way the department is saying how you should be paying the taxes. This is a government owned institution and one would think that they would have, if there’s any need for consulted, clarity, that they would have consulted with the tax department for an interpretation for them to be complaint. We just went to the senate and passed legislation for this very purpose. The new legislation gives you an opportunity to consult with the tax people. There is a way, mechanism in place if you have differing views as to the interpretation of the tax.   The new mechanism also places very onerous burdens on management, on the accountants, on all the people involved in the calculation and payment of taxes to government that they can now be held criminally liable for non-compliance. This new tax legislation allows the department to go back as far as twelve years. There is an element in there that if you intentionally avoided or intended to cause through fraudulent means the underpayment of taxes the department can go back and hold personally responsible. That was one of the things we highlight; all of those persons in the process of calculating and paying of the taxes. The burden of proof is on the individual now to say look I did everything I could. I told my bosses that we owed it and we had to pay it so it is not me. So the onus is on the individual to prove that they are not part and parcel of this tempt to deprive the government of its taxes either by error or intention.”


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