(De Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO — In an attempt to get more revenues out of the gold industry, the government intends to introduce a gold tax starting next year. The authorities hope to rake in at least SRD 60 million this way, Finance Minister, Adelien Wijnerman, states in the 2014 Financial Memorandum. Presi-dent Desi Bouterse presented the draft 2014 budget and the Financial Memorandum to Parliament on Monday.
The memorandum states that in 2012 the government collected SRD 1.6 billion in direct tax up from SRD 1.3 billion in 2011. The Minister ascribes the increasing revenues from income tax to the economic growth in 2012. For the first half of 2013 the authorities have already collected SRD 789 million in direct tax. Collecting tax from illegal gold miners was not an easy project. The gold sector restructuring commission has made an attempt at restructuring the gold sector in order to make tax collection possible.
However, despite assistance from the Revenues Service no effective tax collection has been possible so far. Now the authorities hope that the introduction of the gold tax will be a first step to get more out of the sector. In the Memorandum, Wijnerman states that measures taken in 2011, including devaluation of the national currency and increase of the government take on fuel, have had a positive effect on import duties, excise and sales tax.
Revenues from indirect tax in 2012 were at SRD 1.4 billion, an 8.1 percent increase over 2011. ‘If we look at the types of tax we see that import duty, excise and sales tax have soared with 6.5, 4.9, and 11.4 percent respectively,’ the Minister says. Indirect tax collection is now at SRD 765 million for 2013. Wijnerman thinks that if this trend is continued the entire amount of indirect tax will exceed the levels of 2011 and 2012