NO INTEREST OR PENALTIES FOR LATE TAXPAYERS By Lesroy W. Williams The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Government continues to bring relief to many businesses and persons with respect to the paying of their taxes with the recently introduced tax amnesty from April 1 to September 30, 2009. The amnesty plan seeks to offer taxpayers an opportunity to present cases to the Inland Revenue Department for review; offer waiver of interest and penalties on all outstanding taxes and licenses; offer incentives for late and non-filers who would use this opportunity to settle their accounts. If persons and businesses pay their taxes by September 30, 2009, when the tax amnesty period ends, they stand to benefit tremendously since there is a waiver of 100 percent interest and penalties on all monies owing. There will be no accrual of interest charges for the period April 1, 2009-September 30, 2009. Payment plans may be arranged during the six months amnesty period and tax periods with due date after March 31, 2009, will not be eligible for amnesty. Before the end of the amnesty period, one can enter into an agreement with the Inland Revenue to complete their arrears payment between October 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. If one pays what is owed during this time, there will be a waiver of 70 percent interest and penalties. An opportunity is also being given to persons running businesses and who have not registered to register their businesses without having to pay back taxes. These persons need not have a fear of interest or penalties if they register their business within the amnesty period. Hence, individuals, partnerships and corporations who have not registered will be pardoned during the amnesty period if they register. Registered taxpayers are also given the chance to file unreported earnings without fear of interest or penalties. Given the present global economic recession, the tax amnesty is welcoming news at a time when many are feeling an economic pinch in their pockets. The tax amnesty was designed to benefit both the Government and taxpayers in a win-win situation. The Government is in need of revenue owed to it in order to carry out the many necessary services to the country; those who pay their arrears in taxes will be saving significant sums of money and it will put them in good standing to gain concessions from the government.
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