According to the Guyana Information Agency (GINA), Sattaur said in an interview, that paying taxes was not voluntary, but a legal obligation.
“Less than 15 per cent of all categories of professionals have not complied with this requirement… there are very prominent doctors and lawyers…very soon we will be publicising those who are not honouring their obligations…,” GINA quoted Sattaur as saying. He said that annually, accountants, lawyers, doctors, architects, civil engineers, dentists, land surveyors, pharmacists and other professionals numbering over 530, are required to comply with the Tax Act by filing their returns and making payments on their taxes. This is due on February 28 every year, he told GINA, but was not done.
“This year we will take a more serious approach to evaders… among the category of medical practitioners there are in excess of 300 – less than 35 of them comply… there are in excess of 105 attorneys-at-law – less than 20 of them comply in taking out their practitioner’s certificate… it seems to me that the GRA would have to spare no effort in using its enforcement machinery to go after these very stubborn individuals,” GINA quoted the commissioner general as saying.
He said that while the GRA was publicising those that took out their practising certificate, it needed to also “give publicity to those who do not take out their certificates, as it is an indication that they did not file their income tax returns, thereby they cannot obtain a legitimate tax compliance certificate.”
He told GINA that these very people who fail to file their returns earn millions of dollars per year, yet still they evade taxes.
“We will be pursuing more vigorously, the compliance of this category of taxpayers because they are the ones who are evading the revenues without much redress being taken against them… it seems as if they operate with impunity…we are improving our systems and capability along with our capacity to address this major scourge…,” Sattaur was quoted as saying.