Barbadians who filed personal and corporate income tax returns will start receiving refunds from the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) next month.
However, in giving that update yesterday, Revenue Commissioner Louisa Lewis-Ward said the BRA was equally focused on compliance, as taxpayers owed the Authority between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion.
She was speaking on the day the BRA officially launched its new online portal permitting property owners to view and pay their land tax bills from anywhere in the world directly to the Authority.
“We’re looking forward to October, November and December to start paying some of the reverse tax credits, to start paying refunds related to personal tax and corporate tax as well,” Lewis-Ward told the media yesterday after the official opening of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators’ (CATA) Senior Leadership Programme at Hilton Barbados Resort.
On the issue of payments due from taxpayers, she said the BRA’s introduction of various online services had allowed it to “drive significant compliance programmes”.
The Revenue Commissioner pointed out that “we talk about refunds quite often, but taxpayers also owe the Authority somewhat
of $1.5 [billioin] to $1.8 billion”.
“So therefore, the enforcement capacity has to be there to collect. What we’ve seen is significant compliance from large and medium sized taxpayers alike and so we welcome the initiatives,” she reported.
“We’ve put together teams who meet with large taxpayers on a regular basis to make sure that the compliance is there so that the Government can collect revenues to allow us to be able to do the social spending that we want to have at the end of the day.”
Lewis-Ward also shared that the majority of taxpayers were opting to skip the traditional lines at payment outlets to do their business with the BRA online.
“Significant numbers of taxpayers we’ve seen over the last three years, maybe up to about 60 to 70 per cent, have shifted from joining lines to moving to paying and obtaining services on the. . . various platforms. So it means that’s what taxpayers want,” she said. (SC)