Prof. Ravi Chaturvedi
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Howai: Industrial problems caused tax delays
Finance Minister Larry Howai says industrial relations problems caused the Inland Revenue Division to extend the deadline for filing tax returns. “The problem arose as a result of the fact that the recent industrial action caused the late mailings of the tax returns and also the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR's) Web site was not updated until last week so individuals and businesses would not have been able to download the returns,” he said. On Thursday, the Inland Revenue Division announced an extension of the deadline for filing final payments and tax returns from April 30 to June 30.
No penalties will be applicable but interestnormally be due as a result of the late payment of taxes will be waived once payment is made by June 30. Howai said this is not the first time the deadline for filing tax returns has been extended. “I am advised that it occurred in the past and usually persons would be given an extra month to comply but it has not occurred in the last three years and would probably not have occurred except for the industrial action arising from the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) concerns expressed by the Public Services Association (PSA),” he said. “Cabinet has approved a sum of approximately $1.5 billion to complete the Government Campus buildings in downtown Port-of-Spain,” said Howai. Once this is completed in the next 12 months I expect that the OSH problems being complained of at the BIR will be a thing of the past.”