Education Drive to Foster Voluntary Compliance

21st April, 2010

The Inland Revenue Department is presently utilizing the media and other forums for reaching its audience in the pursuit of educating our customers on taxation matters to include taxpayer obligations, rights and general tax information.   To this end we have used the Peoples Show hosted by Mr. Justin “Hero” Cassell as the main medium for the dissemination of this information where senior members of staff have been providing valuable information to taxpayers.  During the first quarter of this year the main focus was on the submission of returns by employers, employees, self employed and companies.

The first presentation was launch in January 2010 and the panel consisted of Miss Violette Silcott, Comptroller, Mr Roland A Irish, Inspector of Taxes and Mr Rueben Meade, Chief Minister.  It was recognized that this was a valuable approach to education, therefore, it was agreed that regular and timely forums of this nature must be held giving our customers relevant information. This endeavor also provides an avenue for feedback from the public.

 To compliment the education drive initiative to foster voluntary compliance, the Department conducted an out reach program to assist employees, employers, partnership and companies in the completion and filing of their Tax Returns.  This was done on February 24 and 25 and March 26, 2010 at the Ryan’s Court.

While the general atmosphere was well received in regards to the patronage there is still a cross section of Taxpayers that have not availed themselves of the opportunity and therefore such persons are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities.  These forums help to enhance their knowledge base while ensuring that more sound and correct Tax Returns are filed. This has a direct impact on the reduction in the number of queries and speeds up the processing of returns.

As a direct result of the education drive, customer feedback and the general level of compliance have increased. This has manifested itself through the number of returns submitted and queries made by Taxpayers in an effort to get their tax affairs up to date. 

Another area of focus was the need for Taxpayers to pay outstanding taxes as they become due. Those with arrears were encouraged to make arrangements for the payment of overdue amounts. The Chief Minister outlined the Government’s position as it relates to the collection of outstanding amounts; he pointed out that it was the intension of Government to collect these amounts and where the amounts could not be paid in full arrangement should be put in place to pay.

In addition, he also added that Government was introducing a new policy in the granting of Government Contracts. The granting of contracts would be linked to the applicant’s tax status. In order to be successful Taxpayer’s will be expected to have their tax status current or have made satisfactory arrangements with the Inland Revenue Department for the paying of their taxes and submission of returns.

We would like take the opportunity to thank the members of the public who participated directly in the outreach and members of staff who have contributed to the success of the education program. To those taxpayers, taxpayer representative and employers who endeavored to comply with the regulations, their efforts are recognized.  Revenue personnel solicit their continued support..