The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is in the process of relocating its current office in Bartica to a better location in the municipality as it seeks to improve the delivery of taxpayer services in Region Seven, Cuyuni/Mazaruni.
The Commissioner-General of the GRA, Godfrey Statia, on August 23 led a delegation of tax officials on a site visit to the proposed new tax office location at Fifth Avenue, Bartica, where the Authority plans to operate officially from November this year, according to the GRA press release.
The new location will include among other things, living quarters for some senior staff, thereby allowing for a decrease in rental and other associated expenses, After an initial assessment, it was determined that despite earlier efforts to provide a one-stop-shop, improvements were needed in terms of a more enabling environment for staff, and building capacity for the benefit of taxpayers who would otherwise have to travel to Georgetown for some services, the release also said. It was also determined that in order to be effective, regional offices must not only be equipped to offer complete taxpayer services, but also be able to conduct audits and investigations of economic activities of individual and corporate taxpayers in the said localities, the release also added.
The move is in keeping with the agenda of strengthening tax compliance and enforcement activities countrywide, beginning with the improvement of the existing Integrated Regional Tax Offices (IRTOs), together with the soon-to-be functional Mabaruma office. The existing IRTOs are located at Anna Regina, Parika, New Amsterdam, Corriverton, Bartica, Lethem and Linden.
The GRA release noted that it sees this initiative as timely in light of the attainment of township status of Bartica in 2016, and the continued anticipated growth in economic activities, and revenue flows. The Bartica IRTO is currently located at First Avenue and operations there commenced in 2007 before it was declared an IRTO under the Integrated Regional Offices initiative in 2008.
The GRA team also held meetings with the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Roderick Edinboro and outlined its plans and strategies for the Region.
A new office will be commissioned at Mabaruma, Region One, within the next few months which will offer similar services to the region. This office will be the first of its kind in the Region, the release concluded.