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St Vincent's PM Seeks Improved Tax Culture

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
11 January, 2016

Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, has said that local authorities should prioritize the collection of unpaid tax worth "some XDC200m (USD74m)."

In his annual New Year message, Gonsalves said "too many of the taxpayers, including large- and medium-sized taxpayers, simply do not pay their taxes as required... some XCD200m are owed in arrears of taxes – taxes of all categories, plus the interest and penalties. Some big businesses, including a few with significant cross-border trading, do not pay all of their due taxes."

He added: "It is to be noted that the compliance rate for value-added tax (VAT) is falling. A significant number of property owners, including in certain geographical areas, are not paying their property taxes. And many owners of motor vehicles are not paying their motor vehicle licenses."

"I am publicly urging the offending citizens and residents to make satisfactory arrangements with the tax authorities to pay off their arrears in taxes and keep current with their tax obligations. I am also demanding of the tax authority to administer the tax laws with fairness and firmness. It is simply unfair that some persons get away with not paying their taxes, while others have to carry the tax burden," he said.

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