No Scarlet Letter For Tax Dodgers
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 13, 2011 (CUOPM)
Cabinet says it will not publish a list of persons or businesses who have collected the Value Added Tax (VAT) and have not handed it over to the Inland Revenue Department.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister” on Tuesday that he has received from the Financial Secretary the full list of persons who are not in compliance.
“And the question that was been considered in the Cabinet on Monday is whether the list should be published publicly in the newspapers and on the radio to name and shame the people who are not complying. Cabinet cautioned, no, not yet and the Cabinet is right and so we have not,” said Dr. Douglas, in response to a question from a caller.
“I want every single person, who is violating the law, every single person who is involved in trading or providing a service to understand that we are not going to take it just like that,” warned Prime Minister Douglas, who is also Minister of Finance.
He emphasized that the full force of the law will be brought to bear, on what he described as an atrocity.
“It is not just criminal activity that we must be firmly against. We must be against all kind of atrocities where there are violations of laws of this country and so I use this medium once again to say to those who know that they are not complying, that we are not taking this matter lightly,” Prime Minister Douglas warned.
He again used the opportunity to “call on those who are not complying that we give them the opportunity to voluntarily comply after which the period of waiting, the government will use the full force of the law to ensure there is full compliance.”
“Those who are expected to be registered or have not registered we will not allow them to get away with it and those who are registered and are collecting and are not handing over what they have collected, we will not accept it,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
“We are coming at you. I want people to understand that this is going to be properly policed and so I am on the same page with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce with regard to full expression of concerns with regard to those who are not complying,” said Dr. Douglas, who stressed that some people are not going to carry the burden while others get away with it.
“It is not going to happen. All who are expected to be part of the leveling off of the tax system and structure that we have put in place they must comply. It is the law and we shall enforce the law,” said Dr. Douglas.