Taxpayers and employers are being urged to provide the correct National Registration Number (NRN) to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). The Taxpayer Identification Number will be used by the agency to document each individual taxpayer into its records.

The request was made by Senior Tax Inspector, Neville Clarke, who noted during a recent interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, that the use of incorrect NRNs was one of the biggest challenges faced by the IRD last year.

"We had employers who submitted third party information for employees and it didn’t have the correct NRN. Some of the numbers belonged to other taxpayers and that information would have gone onto their accounts. There were others who didn’t provide the NRN at all, and we had to find the numbers for those persons," Mr. Clarke revealed.

He explained that the IRD had several uses for the NRN. "With respect to individuals, the IRD validates employment, miscellaneous and pension income, various other income sources, taxes withheld, allowances and deduction information which are submitted on individual Income Tax Returns filed by taxpayers," the tax official pointed out.

According to the Senior Tax Inspector, the NRN is also used to cross-reference the information provided on the individual income tax return with that provided by the third parties to ensure consistency. The provision of inaccurate or invalid NRNs, he added, could therefore delay the finalisation of the taxpayers’ assessments and refunds.

"Even though filing electronically allows taxpayers to benefit from the efficient processing of refunds which is considerably faster than paper filing, the invalid NRN will delay the successful completion of this procedure. In that case, the IRD has to search through its records to validate the NRNs before processing the Income Tax Returns. We are therefore encouraging employers and taxpayers to ensure that they supply the correct NRN," Mr. Clarke stressed.

All citizens of Barbados should have been issued an NRN by the Electoral Department. It is a unique number, with each citizen having only one number assigned exclusively to him. Non-residents, with a working permit in Barbados, should get a special temporary Tax Identification Number that is issued by the IRD.

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