By Aabigayle McIntosh
The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) continues to lobby for 100 percent compliance in the payment of taxes using innovative ways to encourage the general public to cover their obligation to the statutory corporation.
Despite notable advancements in certain sectors, there remains a crucial need for further efforts to foster complete cooperation.
Deputy Commissioner Jermain Jarvis underscores that the domain of property tax, in particular, stands out as an area requiring additional attention.
“Property Tax is an area where we are trying to work on to ensure that we increase the compliance. Because of the nature of property tax especially in the area of vacant properties, generally we have the address of the property and not the address of the owner,” Jarvis said.
Properties and event planners are complying with the payment of the Entertainment Tax which is essentially a portion of the profits made from the gate receipts.
He is however concerned about the payment of the Unincorporated Business Tax.
“We want to enforce that part of it and to let people know it is not just the entertainment tax. As long as you are providing entertainment, you also have a business and that business is subjected to the Unincorporated Business Tax on any profits that was made on the events,” Jarvis added.
A similar approach will also have to be taken with regard to Air BnB and other short-term accommodations.
Close to 1,000 businesses are operating in this sector, they are obligated by law to pay the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST).
“We want to put in place a system where persons who are renting would register at Inland Revenue. The government has gone as far as to try and arrange a relationship between Airbnb and Antigua and that has not been successful, they did not want to sign a compliance agreement,” the Deputy Commissioner of IRD