Sep 18, 2010 News
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) says that it is actively going after consultants and independent contractors for tax evasion.
Expressing concerns over increasing incidents of these self-employed persons attempting to cheat the tax system, GRA yesterday.
“These persons are engaged by companies to do a particular job, but operate as though they are under a contract of employment,” the agency said in a release yesterday.
According to GRA’s Commissioner-General, Khurshid Sattaur, such persons should voluntarily comply with tax laws by taking the necessary corrective steps. They will be placed under the microscope and the necessary measures will be taken to recover the taxes.
“It should be noted that an independent contractor or self-employed person is bound to do the job he was contracted to do, and uses his own discretion as to how it would be done.
Therefore, a person who is contracted to renovate a structure, execute a research, manufacturing or other project is deemed a self-employed person and is required to file returns and pay taxes in the legally prescribed manner for self-employed persons.”
On the other hand, an employee under a contract of employment “agrees to undertake certain duties under the direction and control of the employer, in return for a wage or salary” from which taxes are deducted, GRA explained.
“Self-employed persons are required to assess themselves and pay their taxes in quarterly installments, which are due on the first day of the month following the end of every quarter.” Payments are to be made on or before April 1, July 1, October 1 and the final payment on or before December 31 every year.
“Persons who are in their first year of business are required to estimate their earnings for the year and make payments accordingly. For ongoing operations, the previous year’s earnings must be used to determine the taxes due.”
The earnings of a self-employed person that are subject to tax (chargeable income) are their gross income from all sources for the year less total deductions and exemptions allowed for each source under the Income Tax Act.
“It must be noted that while taxes are paid during the year, income tax returns are submitted on or before April 30 of the following year and must be accompanied by a computation of the assessable income in the form of a Profit and Loss or Income and Expenditure Statement along with a Balance Sheet. Proper accounts and records pertaining to income and expenditure must be kept for eight years.”
According to Sattaur, where necessary the badges of trade, such as the profit motive, will be considered to determine the existence of trade by a self-employed person or independent contractor for taxation purposes.
He noted that the weight attached to each factor or badge will depend on the precise circumstances.
“Independent contractors/ self-employed persons are therefore urged to pay their taxes accordingly.”
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