THE EDITOR, Sir:
Today, I went to the Constant Spring office of the Inland Revenue Department to collect a tax registration number (TRN) which I had applied for in mid-July, only to be told by the supervisor on duty that although the card had been signed by the then commissioner, Mrs Viralee Bailey Latibeaudiere, they could not deliver the card to me because they had received a directive not to issue any cards signed by the lady (apparently because of the current legal impasse), and could not state definitively when this would change.
It means, therefore, that I (and others, I am sure) are being negatively impacted in several ways because of this poorly thought out directive:
(1) The time wasted in leaving my office to join a line at the tax office, and which I will have to do again whenever they see it fit to release the document;
(2) My inability to conduct business with the revenue agencies and my financial institutions because of the lack of a TRN;
(3) The non-acceptance of new applications for TRNs, etc., until the dispute is resolved.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why the general public should be held to ransom in this dispute between Mrs Bailey Latibeaudiere and her employers (the Jamaican Government), especially those who transacted business with the department before her untimely dismissal. The signature would have been placed on the card while she was still a bona fide employee and authorised signer.
If this dispute continues for another two or three months, are we to expect that no new TRN and other applications will be honoured in that time? This directive is so short-sighted, as there is no need to suspend the distribution, because no matter the outcome of the case, at some point a different commissioner would be put in place.
The Ministry of Finance needs to get its act together!
DEAN C. WIGGAN