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CFT concerned about tax compliance efforts on St. Maarten

THURSDAY, 20 DECEMBER 2012

PHILIPSBURG–Exactly how government plans to raise some NAf. 20 million via increased tax compliance in 2013 is one of three “areas of concern” the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT has cited in its “preliminary advice” to government.

Finance Minister Roland Tuitt said on Wednesday that government was working to submit information on the increased compliance project to CFT by the end of the week to clear up the matter so the committee could approve budget.
A report on tax compliance efforts has been prepared by the Government Tax Foundation BAB and submitted to government. Tuitt plans to put that report together with reports from the Receiver’s Office and the Inspectorate of Taxes to send to the CFT.

The reports will help to point out to CFT that government’s plan to collect the NAf. 20 million is “realistic.”
Concerns also have been raised by CFT about how government intends to raise another NAf. 20 million from a turnover tax (ToT) increase on the end sale of alcohol and tobacco products. Tuitt was to collect a report from the wholesalers on Wednesday that would help to determine how the increase will be implemented and documented.

Similarly, CFT had concerns about how government plans to raise some NAf. 7.5 million from increases in casino fees. Government also is working on further explanations in this matter.

Asked whether government had a “Plan B” in case CFT did not agree with the explanations given on the three revenue-increasing measures, Tuitt said most times there was a Plan B, but there was none this time. The three areas were “designated to get revenue,” he said, adding, that government did not want to overtax the population.

The CFT has written to the Kingdom Council of Ministers in the interim about the process with the draft budget and its concerns.

In keeping with the spirit of giving during the holiday season, Tuitt called on all unregistered businesses “to give government a Christmas present” by becoming registered and starting to pay taxes.

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