Barbados finance minister says millions paid out in tax refunds
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados government says an estimated BDS$25 million have been paid in income tax refunds based on the 2017 tax filing period.
Finance Minister Ryan Straughn said that over the next three years the government would be paying the BDS$116 million it owed to individuals for income tax returns for the 2008 to 2016 tax period.
Straughn, piloting the Income Tax Amendment and Validation Bill in Parliament on Tuesday, said the Mia Mottley administration would also move to settle the arrears owed to the private sector and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
He told legislators that this was important as the seven-month-old government sought to do some “cleaning up” and renew its relationship with residents and businesses.
“That is important because we must now get people accustomed to doing business in the way it should be done,” said Straughn, who acknowledged that the government was still behind on paying out refunds for the 2017 income tax period, which should have been completed by the end of October.
However, Straughn said it was late because the government had to ensure it had the cash flow to meet that obligation.
Straughn said that for the tax period 2008 to 2016, the government owed approximately BDS$96 million in income tax, BDS$23 million in reverse tax credits and BDS$102 million in Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds.
“This is the context in which, having inherited the government, we understood that we needed to start to rebuild the trust,” Straughn said, noting that in order to restore confidence the first step for Government was to stay current and not build up any more arrears.