Wage tax information session draws large turnout

POSTED: 04/5/12 12:51 PM

A cross section of the business community that attended Monday’s successful information session.

St. Maarten – Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto, who was not able to attend the information session on April 2 under the theme “Key elements of a good wage administration,” by the Tax Department for the business community of Philipsburg, is very pleased to hear about the large turnout and the interest shown by the business community. Shigemoto missed the session because he was off island on official business and announced that similar information sessions will be organized as part of the Tax Department St. Maarten’s efforts to enhance the services that it renders.

“With us now being a country, we are now able to give attention and more service to the areas that have been neglected when we were part of the former Netherlands Antilles.  Today, a different wind is blowing and with the entire tax system reform, we are on the right track,” Shigemoto said on Wednesday.

In his introduction, Roland Richardson, Head Inspectorate Department, hinted that compliance can be improved when the taxpayers are well informed.  For this reason the Tax Administration would like to be partners with businesses making sure they provide the relevant information.

Maria Bass, Inspector of Taxes, stated during her presentation that two things are necessary to turn a poor wage administration into a good wage administration, namely the will of the tax payer and his/her knowledge. Some of the common and recurring errors in a wage administration were also addressed. Bass gave an extensive explanation of the wage tax ordinance and what is expected of businesses.

The businesses had a lot of questions that were posed during the Question and Answer (Q&A) session. The panel for the Q&A part of the session consisted of Minerva Gumbs, Acting Head Receiver’s Department, Maria Bass, Acting Head Inspectorate Department, and Guilliano Saturnilia, Head Audit and Criminal Investigation Department.

One of the points which caused some discussion is the requirement from the businesses, based on article 45 of the General Ordinance on Federal Taxes, to provide the Inspectorate with an annual statement concerning third parties who rendered services to their business.

At the end of the session the Tax Administration catered some snacks and drinks while business owners had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Tax Administration.


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