GRA chastise Banks for lack of cooperation with Mortgage Interest Relief Scheme

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GRA[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it is dissatisfied with the level of corporation shown by the various banking institutions as it relates to processing information necessary for facilitating the Mortgage Interest Relief (MIR) Scheme.

The scheme, which was provided for as a result of the 2013 National Budget is geared at providing a thirty percent (30%) relief on the gross interest paid on first time mortgages amounting to thirty million dollars ($30,000,000) or less and requires the assistance of the various lending institutions.

According to the GRA, to date the biggest hurdle has been the receipt of applications without the accompanying bank information. This has forced the Authority to accept applications which cannot be processed since the relevant Letter by Lender Form (Form 2) and Schedule of Interest per Year are missing. Without this key piece of information applications will not be finalized for approval.

The Authority said of the applications received thus far, 470 were submitted by customers of Republic Bank, 687 from New Building Society, 96 from the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry, 87 from the Bank of Nova Scotia, six from Demerara Bank, four  from Hand in Hand Trust, 50 from Citizens Bank and two  from Bank of Guyana. Of this amount, in excess of 207 applications were received with outstanding bank information.

To date, the GRA has received 1,487 applications of which 1,437 were received in 2013 and the additional fifty were submitted in the first two week of 2014.

“This statistic is quite troubling and the Guyana Revenue Authority will be having talks with the relevant stakeholders in an effort to fully understand the reason for the lack of information being provided to those mortgagers who have expressed their desire to benefit from this relief,” the Authority said in a statement.

In an effort to facilitate the processing of the Mortgage Interest Relief, the agency has established a Unit catering specifically to this scheme. This Unit is fully staffed and equipped to address the needs of persons accessing this service and will continue to process applications as submitted.

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