Revenue Authority Debate In Parliament Tomorrow

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The soon to be established Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) is expected to come under the microscope as legislation relating to its creation is down for debate in Parliament tomorrow.

The formation and later proclamation of the BRA means it will consolidate the functions of the Department of Inland Revenue, the Land Tax Department, the VAT and Excise Divisions of the Customs and Excise Department and the revenue collecting aspect of the Barbados Licensing Authority.

Permanent Secretary in the Special Projects Unit, Margaret Sivers, underscored the importance of the Authority, saying it would promote efficiency and effectiveness in the current tax collection systems, as well as the system of expenditure management.

According to her, the establishment of the BRA would enhance the financial stability and sustainability of the tax collection system, thereby improving compliance, reducing tax leakages and increasing the level of tax revenue collection.

Ms. Sivers continued: ???The BRA will ensure there is a sharing of information across the agencies??? We can now network so that if you owe VAT $2 million and Inland Revenue owes you $1.5 million, you only have to pay $500,000. It helps your cash flow??? So I think there are a lot of benefits from both sides, not only from the public service side, but also from the customer side as it relates to dealing with our tax administration.???

She lamented that government had been unable to provide the level of financial and human resources necessary to meet the needs of the individual organisations, but stressed that the creation of the BRA would improve this situation.

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