The Ministry of Finance today said it wished to make clear that it did not have the records of any taxpayer as insinuated by a Guyana Times article.
A statement from the ministry follows:
The Ministry of Finance notes with deep concern a Guyana Times article captioned “GRA’s release of tax info unethical – Ram” which reports the Minister of Education, Hon. Rupert Roopnaraine as saying that, ‘Records in the Ministry of Finance show that many of the institutions have been slipping on their tax requirements.’ In the same article, Chartered Accountant and Attorney at Law Christopher Ram, has reportedly expressed concern that ‘The Ministry of Finance has records of private schools tax information and has since called for clarity.’
The Ministry of Finance wishes to make clear that it does not have the records of any tax payer as insinuated by the article.
As part of the efforts to broaden the tax base, in the context of reducing the VAT rate and providing relief in other areas, the Ministry of Finance, during the Budget 2017 exercise, required data on various sectors, activities and institutions, one of which was private schools. The data in respect of the private schools were limited to the number of them registered in the system and their earnings. The clear intent was to examine the amount of additional revenue that could be garnered from the imposition of the VAT on this source.
The Ministry of Finance wishes to reassure citizens that the confidentiality and integrity of their tax information are zealously guarded by the Guyana Revenue Authority, unlike a period not so long ago when taxpayers’ information was being shared with individuals associated with the Opposition party.