GRA welcomes efforts to level playing field through reporting and self-compliance


Dear Editor,
THE Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) would like to extend its gratitude to Mr. Loric Peters for highlighting a suspected instance of non-compliance with Value Added Tax (VAT) in the Friday, February 7, 2020 edition of the Kaieteur News letter column.

Mr. Peters is encouraged to provide the information on the company that is allegedly in breach of the tax law. He can also write the GRA to provide the information following which the GRA will conduct its own investigation and take the necessary measures to ensure the alleged defaulter is compliant.

The GRA would also like to remind the general public that every person who carries on a taxable activity is required to apply for registration within 15 days to charge VAT if your taxable turnover equals or exceeds the threshold of $15 million at the end of any period of 12 or fewer months (Section 11 (a), VAT Act) or at the beginning of any period of 12 months where there are reasonable grounds to expect that the total value of taxable supplies to be made…will equal or exceed the threshold (Section 11 (b), VAT Act).

VAT is charged at the standard rate of 14 per cent after registration on the supply of all items taxed at the positive rate. For more assistance on registering for VAT, contact the Tax Advisory Services Section on telephone number 227-6060 extensions 1201-1204.

The GRA can institute civil penalties for failure to apply for VAT registration. Section 80(1) of the VAT Act notes a person who fails to apply for registration as required by Subsection 11(1), (7), or (8) is liable for a penalty equal to double the amount of output tax payable from the time the person is required to apply for registration until the person files an application for registration with the Commissioner.

Continued failure to apply for registration can also lead to criminal penalties being instituted against defaulters. This is in accordance with Section 66 of the VAT Act which states a person who knowingly or recklessly fails to apply for VAT registration as required by Section 11(1), (7), or (8) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $25,000 and imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
The Authority remains committed to ensuring equal opportunity for economic growth in Guyana through the fair and transparent administration of the country’s tax laws. This can be achieved through voluntary compliance and enforcement activities which include investigation of reported breaches of the tax laws.

In this regard, the GRA is continuously engaged in compliance campaigns to ensure that entities that are required to be registered are so registered and the applicable taxes are charged and remitted. The Authority encourages the general public to continue to be vigilant as we continue to work together to level the playing field. All instances of suspected tax fraud can be reported to the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) via telephone number: 227-6060 extensions 3200-3208. Additionally, our Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Hotline can be contacted on 225-5051. Reports can also be made anonymously and all information provided will be treated with the strictest of confidence.

Guyana Revenue Authority