Delinquent taxpayers urged to submit Returns soon to avoid penalties 

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Despite the April 30 deadline for the submission of tax return has passed, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is encouraging taxpayers who did not file their returns to do so at the earliest time possible to avoid paying any penalties.

“The GRA is also encouraging taxpayers who have failed to meet the April 30, 2021 deadline to make every effort to do so within the shortest possible time since while the law allows for the Commissioner-General to waive associated penalties for due cause (e.g., the Covid-19 pandemic and legitimate concerns like the non-receipt of Employers’ 7B/emolument slips), such consideration may not be extended towards any interest that may have accrued for the late payment of taxes,” GRA Commissioner-General Godfrey Statia said.

Nevertheless, he went on to laud those taxpayers who filed their tax returns before the April 30, 2021 due date for their overwhelming compliance.

“This level of compliance is extraordinary especially so in light of and the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In comparison to 2020, and previous years, the Guyana Revenue Authority has received an astounding number of tax returns filed both manually and electronically,” the GRA Boss noted.

When compared to 2020, there was an increase in compliance of over 100 per cent. According to Statia, such compliance levels allowed the Agency to surpass it budget collections by over $1 billion for the month of April 2021.

As of April 30, 2021, GRA has received 94,189 tax returns at its Headquarters and Regional Integrated Tax Offices, of which some 4,414 were submitted via the new Optimal RMS e-services and over 1,000 payments being effected electronically thereon.

In March 2021, the GRA launched its new tax software Optimal Revenue Management System (RMS). This system will not only improve taxpayer convenience, allow for e-filing and e-payments, and improved operational efficiencies, but will allow the Agency to fast-track the processing of Mortgage Interest Relief and PAYE refunds, thereby bringing benefits to all stakeholders.

The GRA is working assiduously in utilizing the information submitted in the 2021 returns to refund taxpayers for previous years by utilizing direct bank transfers and give notice of such transfers through electronic media like MMS and WhatsApp. The Agency would like to assure taxpayers that systems are being put in place to reduce the long waiting time for tax refunds and MIR payments.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the interest of maintaining public safety, the issuance of lodgment receipts was discontinued. For future submissions, taxpayers who submitted their returns via the dropbox system are encouraged to sign up for e-services to receive confirmation that their returns were lodged. They can also utilize this system to track their tax status (taxes due or refunds outstanding).

For additional information about the features and benefits of the Optimal Revenue Management System, taxpayers can visit www.gra.gov.gy/optimal. Taxpayers are also encouraged to view our video presentations, which cover promotional, guidance and other useful content via our social media channels: https://www.facebook.com/grapr2020 (Facebook) and https://www.youtube.com/c/GuyanaRevenueAuthority/ (YouTube).