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Barbados To Crack Down On Tax Evasion

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, New York
22 January, 2014

Barbados's Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, has warned that the government plans to get more serious in its pursuit of tax evaders when the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) is launched in April 2014.

The minister made the comment in response to a question at a Democratic Labor Party meeting, saying that the new revenue authority will go after tax evaders "with a seriousness you have not seen before."

He went on to say that the BRA will have its own legal team and will not have to wait on the over-burdened offices of the Solicitor General and Attorney General, thereby allowing it to invoke "the full extent of the law."

"We are going after the lawyers, the doctors, the mechanics, and whoever else," Mr Sinckler said. "They are going to have to pay their taxes, and ensure that they contribute to the development of this society."

In April of 2012 the former Acting Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Frank Forde, expressed disappointment with the Inland Revenue Department's level of enforcement in regard to professionals. He claimed that Barbados' professionals, including lawyers and doctors, were grossly under-reporting their income and neglecting to file tax returns.

Mr Sinckler said in May last year that the BRA was necessary to tackle gross under-invoicing. He said that in 2012 Japan reported to the World Customs Organization that it exported USD68m worth of reconditioned or used vehicles to Barbados, while Barbados' figure, based on submissions by persons who imported vehicles, was only BDS30m, resulting in a discrepancy of almost USD30m.

The BRA will encompass Income Tax, VAT, Customs, Excise and Land Tax, among others.

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