Going After Tax Defaulters Is Paying Off For Guyana Revenue Authority

Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority, Godfrey Statia.


GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Friday January 26, 2018 – The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has reported a 14 per cent increase in its revenue collection for 2017 – an estimated GYD$20 billion (US$96.5 million) more than what it had garnered at the end of 2016.

The tax revenue body raked in around GYD$170 billion (US$821 million), and according to Commissioner General Godfrey Statia, the collection of new taxes and going after tax defaulters significantly contributed to this success.

The major revenue areas were collected from arrears which amounted to some GYF$4 billion (US$19.3 million) alone.

“We have been targeting persons who owe us and have not been paying, so arrears collection has increased. It is a sizeable amount,” Statia told the media at a press briefing yesterday.

According to the Commissioner, the receipt of some taxes that were not previously collected also contributed to the increases.

Despite these successes, there remain instances of tax defaulters defrauding the system. According to Statia, if the top 10,000 taxpayers paid what they truly owed, the tax base would be widened to reduce taxes for the rest of the population.

He explained that 60 per cent of the revenues are based on just 300 taxpayers, including corporate tax and a few individual taxpayers.

“And those that are individual taxpayers, are persons who just because of the rate differential have elected to remove themselves from the corporate person into an individual person,” the Commissioner explained.

“As long as we get those persons doing what they supposed to be doing, I am sure taxes will be improved.”

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