AFC restates call for dependents tax break for parents

The AFC is reiterating its taxation policy which resolves to reintroduce allowances in the tax system for dependents to allow parents to better provide for their families, in the wake of the rising cost of living.

In a press release the party said a fixed tax threshold which makes no provision for dependents allowance is divorced from the harsh Guyanese reality which makes providing for children a difficult and uphill task. “The AFC is committed to the establishment of a dependent allowance calculated at half of the income tax threshold which translates to $20,000 per month or $5000 per week per child,” the release said. It explained, for example, that a parent of two children (who must be minors) who earns a gross salary of $80,000 per month would be eligible to access the dependents allowance and thus would pay no income tax.

The party recalls that in the March 12, 2009 issue of the Stabroek News, Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority Khurshid Sattaur commented in the letter columns that between 2006 and 2009 there was a 75% increase in the income tax ceiling which is represented by a movement from $20,000 to a grand total of $35,000. “The AFC submits that such posturing can only be made devoid of any knowledge and appreciation of the harsh cost of living reality of Guyana,” the release said.

Towards, the end, in May 2010, AFC Region Four Councillor at the level of the RDC Michael Carrington and Parliamentarian Everall Franklin wrote both the Women and Gender Commission and The Rights of the Child Commission and called for a review of the tax laws with a view to enabling parents and guardians to care for their children. In the letter, the party had contended that a fixed income tax threshold which does not provide any exemption to parents could be deemed discriminatory and unfair as under such arrangement, parents are treated on par with those who are not burdened with such responsibility.

Also in the letter, both groups were reminded of their respective constitutional mandate to “Promote the empowerment of women” and “Ensure that the rights and interests of children are taken into account at all levels of Government….” To date there has been no response to the letter, the release said. The AFC submits that such reform of the tax system could encourage delinquent fathers to accept and take responsibility for their parental mandate and create an enabling environment that would encourage them to marry their ‘child mother’.

The party also said such a review of the tax policy is in consonance with its caring approach and is intended to alleviate the economic hardships facing the large poor population in Guyana.

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