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During the fiscal year 2023, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) experienced a significant increase in revenue collection, amassing more than $559.5 million, which surpassed the previous year’s record of $497.8 million.
The IRD Commissioner, Ralph Warner, attributed this remarkable achievement to better surveillance methods and an overall rise in economic activity.
The increase in collections was largely driven by the corporate income tax, ABST, property tax, and travel tax streams.
ABST, which is the country’s primary revenue source, accounted for $330.3 million of the total amount, representing a $27.4 million increase from the previous year.
Meanwhile, corporate income tax also rose from $62.1 million in 2022 to $101.4 million in 2023, marking an increase of $39.2 million.
The department’s efforts in collecting outstanding arrears, increased audit activities, and an overall rise in economic activities in the country were attributed to the increase in corporate income tax.
However, despite the record collections, Warner noted that the numbers could have been even better had it not been for certain exemptions and an amnesty for certain taxes.
A property tax amnesty led to the government forgoing as much as $8 million in taxes, while a waiver on stamp duty on property and land sales resulted in a further loss of $20 million.
When the exemption and waiver amounts were added together, the department fell short of its budgeted collection amount of $580 million.
Nevertheless, Warner acknowledged that these measures were designed to stimulate the economy and benefit property owners.
Although the department did not meet its budgeted collection amount, Warner predicted that the department would surpass the 2023 collections in the current year since there are no planned waivers or exemptions.
Furthermore, ABST has been increased by two percent from January 1, 2024.