GRA Commissioner says local banking institutions owe $4B in taxes

Commissioner General Godfrey Statia addresses a Press Conference at the Headquarters of the Guyana Revenue Authority.

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) stands by its assessment that Citizens Bank and other commercial banks in Guyana owe approximately $4 billion in corporation taxes.

GRA Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia, told a press conference on Friday that while the banking association had approached him through the Bank of Guyana (BoG) to have a look at the issue with the aim of coming to an agreement, he is not prepared to change the assessment.

“Banks are commercial entities in the business of lending and have bad debts, however, while the financial standards allow banks to make provision for these debts in their accounting, the Corporation Tax Act speaks about bad debt in a different light. We deal with actual bad debt— not because you provide for a bad debt means it will actually be bad,” Statia explained, stressing that “you cannot write off that debt as a provision and expect GRA to accept it.”….

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