Mandatory Tax Compliance For Professionals

The Tax Administration will be introducing a National Compliance Programme (NCP) this fiscal year, making it mandatory for certain individuals to file annual income tax returns.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, made the announcement in his opening Budget presentation for 2011/2012, in the House of Representatives on Thursday, April 28, under the theme ‘From Stabilisation to Growth’.

The NCP will mandate that professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and accountants, must declare their annual income, if they are employed in the private or public sectors.

Mr. Shaw said this has become necessary, as studies have shown that an unacceptable percentage of persons, in certain professional groups, are grossly underreporting or not reporting their income.

“Everybody must pay their fair share of taxes,” Mr. Shaw reiterated, adding that, “to close the tax gap of persons operating a cash economy, Tax Inspectors will be appointed to deal specifically with such entities”.

The Inspectors will be assigned to visit establishments unannounced to carry out spot audits. Additionally, persons operating on a cash basis will be required to pay over General Consumption Tax (GCT) collected by the 15th of each month.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw said the move to amalgamate employer’s monthly statutory returns has found favour with the business community.

“They are now able to make their monthly payroll deductions using one form, one payment, one place,” the Minister stated.

Additionally, he said the Government is now moving to simplify the process of filing employer’s annual returns, by creating a single annual return to capture information relating to PAYE, Education Tax, NIS, HEART, and NHT. The new form will be rolled out by mid-year, for full implementation in January 2012.

He noted that other changes regarding payroll deductions are also being considered.