Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler met with the new executive of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) on Monday in what both sides hoped would be the first of many such sessions.

The wide-ranging discussions covered topics such as the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, the Value Added Tax, public transportation and health.

In relation to the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, the BCCI team, led by President Tracey Shuffler, put their case to have the taxes owed by members offset by monies owed to them by government.

They also asked government to consider an extension of the tax deadline from July 28 to year-end without penalties being incurred.

While explaining that offsetting monies owed for goods and services against taxes due might call for legislative change, the Minister promised to discuss the Chamber???s proposals with senior officers in his Ministry and other related government departments to see if and how they could be implemented.

Minister Sinckler disclosed that the entire system of taxation was being reformed and the establishment of the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) was in response to this.

The Finance Minister said one objective is to improve the 77 per cent collection rate, considered ???okay??? globally, to between 80 and 85 per cent. Such an increase, the Finance Minister submitted, would have a very positive impact on the system.

Mr. Sinckler promised the business representatives that as the BRA settled into carrying out its mandate, they could expect to receive their VAT refunds in a timelier manner.

In addition to Ms. Shuffler, the BCCI team consisted of executive director Lisa Gale and executive members Eddie Abed, Ricky Went and Edward Clarke.

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