Miners body lobbying Govt to review tax system

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The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has made an appeal for the Government to review the current tax system involving miners with the hope that this could somehow be restructured thereby lessening the financial burden on all miners, whether small or large.

This is not something new as the GGDMA, has, over the past year been lobbying the Government on numerous tax issues, some of these being: tributor’s tax, tax rate and outcomes. However, they were never able to get anywhere with this request but are hoping this could change soon.

At the GGDMA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Friday it was revealed that submissions were made to Finance Minister Winston Jordan on September 20, 2017. This was followed by a meeting with the Minister and team on Thursday September 28, 2017.

Subsequently a letter of justification along with an analysis was sent to the Minister on October 10, 2017 as to why the gold and diamond mining sector should be treated differently than the other sectors when it comes to taxes. While discussions are ongoing, the GGDMA hopes to have a favourable response.

On February 1, 2017, tributors or persons engaged in the gold or diamond mining industry who are rewarded for their labour under the tribute system became subject to a 20 per cent withholding tax, instead of ten per cent which was previously deducted.

Meanwhile, members of the GGDMA were also told that the association was able to negotiate a better package for all miners, whether they may be small, medium or large. This happened after lengthy negotiations with the Guyana Gold Board (GCB) on a new fee structure.

A processing fee of $1,300 per ounce from one ounce and up to and including 100 ounces will be charged, while a processing fee of $1400 per ounce for every ounce starting from 101 ounces and for every additional ounce up to 200 ounces.

Therefore, a downward sliding scale of $1300 per ounce from 201 ounces to 300 ounces; and then $1200 per ounce for all additional ounces between 301 ounces to 500 ounces, will be charged.

There will also be a ceiling or maximum of $400,000 for all sales up to 1,000 ounces and for sales greater than 1000 ounces, the processing fee will be $400 per ounce, for every ounce above 1,000 ounces.

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