Government has paid out $472,665,000 in refunds from August 2018 to present.
This disclosure came today from the Barbados Revenue Authority’s (BRA) Revenue Commissioner, Louisa Lewis-Ward, during a virtual press conference, where she discussed challenges, progress and steps being made by the institution to achieve organisational success.
Mrs. Lewis-Ward, who has led the Authority for the last 11 months, said Government had made significant progress in settling refunds. In giving a breakdown of the $472,664,000, she continued: “This includes corporate tax refunds paid of $11,553,000; personal income tax paid of $104,774,000; value added tax refunds paid of $307,591,000, and reverse tax credits paid of $48,746,000.”
She noted that the BRA had conducted an analysis of all tax balances, pointing out that balances remained outstanding to taxpayers in all tax types, including VAT, personal income tax, corporate, and reverse tax credits.
“The cumulative of what we see in the system goes back from 1998 to present. As a remedy, we have established a refunds team, which has commenced the process of verification of all outstanding balances, …as some of these require careful research and examination before they can be paid, and in many instances, we are required to offset refunds against monies owed to the Authority by taxpayers.
“However, we do recognise that there are many Barbadians who face economic challenges at this point, and we are working to review these balances as a matter of earnest,” she emphasised.
During this current filing period, Mrs. Lewis-Ward urged taxpayers to include their banking details in the information submitted, so any refunds to be issued could be paid by the bank-to-bank transfer method.
“In many cases, only legacy payments will be made by cheque and all current refunds will be issued directly to taxpayer bank accounts. Therefore, … take the time to update both the registration page, the contacts page and if there’s a line in the tax return for banking information, please update that as well, so that the team can reach out to you if they need to,” she urged.
The Revenue Commissioner said the Tax Administration Management Information System (TAMIS) continued to be updated, and some of the corrections highlighted by taxpayers were being made.
She added that the Authority was also working to amend the system to provide for the waivers and exemptions from penalties and interest approved by the Ministry of Finance over the last two years.
“We continue to work with the TAMIS implementation team to make system changes, which will make it more efficient for taxpayer use,” she assured.