Officials from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Linden Mayor and Town Council (LMTC) met with shop owners on June 2 to outline the legal requirements for carrying out their trade following the discovery that a considerable number of them are non-compliant.
A release on Monday from the GRA said that the meeting was held following a request by the LMTC.
The request from the council came after enforcement activities by the GRA, which included checks on roadside vending and businesses in the Municipal market, unearthed unlicensed operations and unregistered businesses.
The GRA said that the shops and other business owners along with Kevin De Jonge, President of the Linden Chamber of Commerce, at the meeting, offered “plausible explanations for the prevailing situation, citing a lack of knowledge and apathy on the part of businesses as some of the main contributing factors”. In response, the GRA representatives urged that the LMTC take corrective action as regularisation of shops in the town was its responsibility.
It was noted that though businesses in the Municipal Market are under the purview of the Town Council, butcher shops, tobacco traders and drugstores there are required to apply to the GRA for licences.
The GRA said that the LMTC also used the occasion to update proprietors on the procedures for obtaining approved building plans while Commissioner General (ag) of the GRA, Ingrid Griffith noted that the Agency is duty-bound by its revenue collection targets and emphasised the urgent need for the businesses to acquire their licences and other required documents in order to become compliant. She said that the GRA remains willing to work with the Town Council and the shop owners on the process and added that any concerns expressed by the business owners would be relayed to GRA’s Governing Board and the Ministry of Finance.
The team also included Assistant Commissioner (ag) Integrated Regional Tax Offices, Dawn Punche, Manager of the Agency’s Tax Advisory Services Section Naresha Bobb-Semple and Manager of GRA’s Linden Integrated Office, Desiree Parkinson. Mayor of Linden, Carwyn Holland, Town Clerk Jenella Bowen and Linden Town Councillors were also in attendance.