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Less than three months left to pay real property tax arrears

Guardian Business Reporter

Published: Jan 09, 2017

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Bahamians with outstanding real property taxes now have less than three months to pay in full in order to avoid penalties.

The Department of Inland Revenue (DIR) in a statement published yesterday reminded all individuals with real property tax arrears that the end of the amnesty period is “fast approaching” and arrears should be paid in full by March 2017 in order to receive a 100 percent waiver on their surcharge.

“However, customers who are unable to meet that deadline but can pay their arrears in full on or before June 30, 2017 will receive a 50 percent discount on the surcharge. Certain restrictions may apply,” the statement said.

Under the amnesty program, the government introduced a surcharge waiver, which gives taxpayers an opportunity to clear arrears without any penalties.

Reminders were also issued for those in the business community. “Renewal applications should be submitted on or before January 31, 2017 to avoid late payment penalty. Payment of business license fees is due on or before March 31, 2017,” the DIR said.

Since January 2017, the value-added tax (VAT) filing and payment deadline was narrowed to the 21st of every month, a cut of seven days.

Business owners were told to “expeditiously” comply with the new adjustment.

The DIR said, “Businesses are advised that monthly and quarterly filings are now due on or before the 21st of the month following the monthly and quarterly tax filing periods.”

Controller at the Department of Inland Revenue Roger Forbes said, “We recognize that adjustments are necessary to facilitate this change and advise business owners to move expeditiously to comply.”

The department also recently expanded its online payment platform to facilitate the payment of real property tax.

“This latest addition makes it possible for all taxes, value-added tax, business license fees and real property tax to be paid online.

“The DIR is encouraging tax payers to utilize this facility, which eliminates the frustration of long lines and the challenge of navigating the busy streets of New Providence to meet tax compliance deadlines,” according to a government press statement.

For those who do not want to submit payments online, the DIR advised the public that payments can also be made at any Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch.

Forbes said, “We are creating a new paradigm and positioning the department to move away from over-the-counter payments. This is also part of our consistent effort to eliminate the frustration of long payment lines at our headquarters and create more convenient options. We have introduced a reliable, efficient and secure electronic process that makes it much easier for the public to pay its taxes and meet the established compliance deadlines.”


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