The main purpose of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is to provide taxpayers with more efficient services, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said, urging employers to submit their employees’ applications to avoid mix-ups.
In a press release the GRA said it was issuing the nine-digit numbers to identify persons who conduct various transactions such as tax payment, filing tax returns, obtaining compliance certificates required for transferring assets such as land and motor vehicle and renewing licences with the Licence Revenue Office.
“TIN is not required to transact business at commercial banks or to collect remittances from any money transfer agency,” GRA Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur said. TIN will allow the GRA to improve the administration of other taxes; “however, this is not to say that the GRA will make unnecessary demands from taxpayers. We can only demand taxes that are fairly due to the state,” he added.
The GRA said there was no cost attached to the processing of TIN and therefore no one was authorized to charge a fee for the form, the processing or the certificate. Also, it is not a requirement to pay outstanding taxes before a TIN is issued since persons who have outstanding taxes may be allowed to use their existing number to do so.
Employers and TIN
While the GRA is focused on having employers obtain TIN for all their employees, it does not prevent employees from applying individually, the release said. It also said that the majority of employers did not commit to the exercise, leaving an overwhelming number of individuals to apply independently and this “has become a bug-bear for the GRA to sort the applicants and ensure that they are assigned to the correct employer.” Nevertheless, Sattaur said, the GRA’s main objective is to have employees obtain a TIN before December 31.
The GRA said the TIN Act places significant responsibility on employers to ensure their employees obtain a TIN, especially since they would be required to quote all of their employees’ TIN on January 14, when they remit their December tax deductions. Section 4 of the Income Tax (Amendment No 2) Act states, “Every employer shall record on the return made under Section 61 (2) (that is the Form 11), the TIN of every employee