LETTER OF THE DAY: Creating more tax evaders
The Editor, Sir:
It is long overdue that tax evasion is attacked with vigour, but Finance Minister Audley Shaw's proposals, as reported, are puzzling! For instance, how does he justify:
The same fine of $100,000 for individuals and corporate bodies?
The ten-fold increase in penalty for failing to file GCT returns for individuals, but goes easy on companies - that may owe much more - with only a five-fold increase?
Mr Shaw's proposal ought to include building more jails because persons who fail to file tax returns would be jailed by the thousands, if, as his bark implies, he has the mobilisation capacity to reach and drag them before the tax court.
Instead of lowering interest charged on late GCT payments and income tax, he should consider a payment schedule with strict enforcements to liquidate all outstanding amounts and not 'reward' them with a one per cent and 20 per cent 'cash back'. With this proposal, he is bound to create new tax evaders!
Tax evaders have benefited for years from the monies due to the Government and instead of kid-glove treatment, Mr Shaw should aggressively hound them to pay at current penalty rates to the extent of seizure of assets as provided under tax laws.
Mr Shaw, I agree, we must bury lip service - even from you!
I am, etc.,