Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris Leader of Team Unity

Press Release

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 27th, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – The Tax Administration and Procedures (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which had its first reading on March 23rd, 2016, was passed today in the National Assembly.

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, in his capacity as Minister of Finance, moved its second reading in Parliament today.

The Tax Administration and Procedures (Amendment) Act, 2016 further amends Section 37 of the Tax Administration and Procedures Act, bringing it into closer alignment with the Value Added Tax Act of 2010.

“Presently, the Tax Administration and Procedures Act (TAPA) provides for the imposition of a penalty on taxpayers who file their taxes after the due date, but there are no consequences for the late payment of taxes,” Prime Minister Harris said during the National Assembly.  “This, however, is not the case in the VAT Act.  Penalties are imposed for both late filings and late payments.  The amendment that is being put forward today is intended to rectify this discrepancy between both pieces of legislation.  The proposed amendment that is before this Honourable House therefore seeks to bring some consistency in our tax legislation with respect to the application of penalties for the late filing of tax returns and the late payment of taxes,” the Prime Minister added.

The Tax Administration and Procedures (Amendment) Act, 2016 adds a new subsection (subsection 6) to Section 37 of the TAPA.  The new subsection seeks to deter taxpayers from paying their taxes after the due date, with the introduction of a late payment penalty equal to 10% of the owed amount.

Additionally, the Tax Administration and Procedures (Amendment) Act, 2016 restores the penalty for a person who files a return late to the Inland Revenue Department to 5% of the owed amount.  This is a 50% reduction from the higher figure of 10%, which had been raised by the Douglas-led administration from 5% in August 2014 and enacted into law by the Tax Administration and Procedures (Amendment) Act, 2014.

The Tax Administration and Procedures (Amendment) Act, 2014 also introduced a $100.00 late filing penalty per month that replaced a 1% late filing penalty per month “or part of the month during which the failure to file continues.”  The Tax Administration and Procedures (Amendment) Act, 2014 introduced, too, a $1000.00 late filing penalty per month “or part thereof during which the failure to file continues” for persons with tax exemptions who failed to file their returns on time.  The Tax Administration and Procedures (Amendment) Act, 2016 leaves those two late filing penalties from 2014 in place.

“We, of course, would like every taxpayer to adhere to the law by not only filing their returns on time, but paying their taxes by the due date,” the Honourable Prime Minister said, adding, “It is common practice for provisions to be built into the law to deter people from paying late.”

(Press release courtesy of the Office of the Press Secretary)