Taxpayers held hostage in impasse

Taxpayers held hostage in impasse

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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Dear Editor,

I went to the Constant Spring Office of the Inland Revenue Department on Monday, August 19 to collect a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN), which I had applied for in mid July. I was told by the supervisor on duty that, although the card had been signed by the then commissioner, Mrs Viralee Bailey Latibeaudiere, they could not deliver the card to me because they had received a directive not issue any cards signed by the lady — apparently due to the current legal impasse — and could not state definitively when this would change.

It means, therefore, that I, and others I am sure, will just have to wait. We are being negatively impacted in several ways because of this poorly thought out directive:

1. The time wasted in leaving my office to join a line at the tax office — and which I will have to do again whenever they see it fit to release the document

2. My inability to conduct business with the revenue agencies and my financial institutions because of the lack of a TRN.

3. The non-acceptance of new applications for TRNs, etc until the dispute is resolved.

For the life of me I cannot understand why the general public should be held to ransom in this dispute between Mrs Latibeaudiere and her employers (the Government) — especially those who transacted business with the department before her untimely dismissal — as the signature would have placed on the card while she was still a bona fide employee and authorised signer.

If this dispute continues for another two or three months, are we to expect that no new TRNs and other applications will be honoured in that time? This directive is so short-sighted, as there is no need to suspend the distribution. No matter the outcome of the case, at some point a different commissioner will be put in place.

Ministry of Finance get your act together.

Dean C Wiggan

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