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Antigua Will Continue To Pursue Tax Delinquents

by Mike Godfrey,, New York

16 July 2013

Antigua and Barbuda's Inland Revenue Department will be relentless in pursuing tax defaulters, IRD Commissioner Ralph Warner and Revenue Reform Administration Project Manager Everett Christian said this week.

IRD officers are currently focusing on professionals and the self-employed, with delinquent accountants, attorneys and doctors being cast into the public spotlight last week, with the publication of a list.

Warner said IRD would next zero in on real estate agents and agencies. He said not only is IRD supported by law, officers see it as their duty to be fair and fearless in tax administration.

Both Christian and Warner, who were speaking on Thursday at the taping of Media Roundtable, said it is inequitable for salaried workers and others who are compliant to bear the tax burden.

The list published last week comprised 5 accountants, 28 attorneys, 3 firms, and 14 doctors.

The list was reduced by 13 a day later, upon second publication, and Warner reported that it had been further whittled down. He specifically noted that 90 percent of the attorneys had given written commitments to regularize their tax status.

Responding to threats of lawsuits, coming primarily from a few of the attorneys named, Christian said no law had been broken.

"From a legal perspective, all we are doing is providing notice and asking these persons, who are delinquent, to come and engage us so we can put things in order," stated Christian

He added, "Times are changing. This is a new day and a new culture. The law is there and we expect people to comport with the laws. If you don’t there will be consequences."

He noted that the taxes owed included Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax, Corporate Tax and Personal Income Tax.

He said the IRD would pursue those who do not voluntary engage, using best-of-judgment assessments, to collect what is owed to the state.

TAGS: tax | law | professionals | Antigua and Barbuda

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