Focus on compliance not on higher taxes

POSTED: 02/3/16 6:15 PM

St. Maarten News:  “For the time being” the government will not focus on higher taxes to increase state revenue. Instead, the focus will be on compliance, it appears from the explanatory notes with the draft 2016 budget.

“In general it is assumed that not enough is done against free-riders to escape from their duty to contribute to the community. The tax inspectorate is working on a stricter approach.”

For 2016, the government projects 1 million guilders in additional revenue from higher tax compliance. In 2017 the additional revenue increases to 6 million guilders and in 2018 it is 4 million.

The finance ministry has budgeted the following tax revenue, based on a conservative approach. Wage taxes: 139.4 million; profit tax: 30.8 million, turnover tax: 142.1 million; road tax: 9.1 million; bank license levies: 25.4 million; dividend Central Bank: 1.99 million; transfer tax: 9.7 million; stamp tax: 1 million guilders.

The budget leaves no space for hiring additional personnel at the tax inspectorate. “”This seemingly hinders the realization of the objectives, but as soon as measures yield results, that space will be there,” the minister notes. “The expectation is that the additional revenue from 2016 will be used to strengthen the quality and the capacity of the tax inspectorate.”

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