“Tax inspectorate is understaffed, under equipped and under trained”

St. Maarten News – Finance Minister Richard Gibson repeated in a meeting of parliament yesterday that the country needs to diversify and expand its economy to build resistance against inevitable external shocks. He mentioned the development of hydroponics, fishery, the medical industry and education as viable options.

Minister Gibson repeated his warnings about de-risking and the potential loss of correspondents banking and pointed again to local banks that want certain customers – especially casinos – to close their accounts, because they do not want to accept the risks associated with this type of customer anymore.

To improve the country’s financial position it will have to invest in its tax inspectorate, the minister said. As he stated during last week Friday’s tax summit, a 1 percent increase in complains represents 20 million guilders in additional revenue for the government.

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“We need to invest in this apparatus,” the minister said. The tax inspectorate is understaffed, under equipped and under trained. If we raise compliance from the current 22.5 to 26 percent, we would raise structurally 70 million guilders.”

That is the kind of money needed to invest in the tax inspectorate. “We could pay back such a loan to a bank within three years and they would receive us with open arms,” the minister said. “Unfortunately we are stuck within the rules of the kingdom law financial supervision.”
Source: Today SXM “Tax inspectorate is understaffed, under equipped and under trained”

1 COMMENT

  1. Businesses in St marten are welcomed by our government to conduct under an E.N.V which clearly STATES to follow rules by paying taxes on earnings to the government and then earnings for themselves to make our country successful , we as the country an island give opportunities to foreigners to succeed and as well grow our economy for future . There are businesses who take advantage of this situation by avoiding gross receipt taxes monthly and cheating on yearly turnover taxes by only accepting CASH ONLY from customers, this practice is not fair, it is not illegal yet in twenty-first century majority of citizens along with tourist carry credit cards and debit cards to pay their expenses, purchases and dinners . I think tax authorities should investigate these culprits to pay fines and set rules how a business transacts with their clients. There are food places which I have been disgraced and embarrassed in public by their attitude towards locals.The re are no notices or signs in place pointing to this statement. In a recent visit, I like others have felt less welcome, as certain banks charge a fee to withdraw from ATM which affects our savings from our earnings . I believe there should be a fair practice set in place by not only accepting cash but credit cards, and debit cards as well.Future growth for our country depends on regulations set by tax authorizes they must implement a stronger plan to recover past taxes as well future earnings from businesses such as above establishment, who run strictly only cash policy. These kinds of restaurants exist all over the island starting from Maho to Philipsburg.

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