As at 31 December 2017, there were 3,750 registered companies in the database of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Of that number, 3,685 were identified as active. However, only 1,008 companies filed returns for the year of assessment 2017 resulting in 2,677 companies not filing their returns as required by the Income Tax Act and applied by the Corporation Tax Act.
This state of affairs was highlighted by Auditor General, Deodat Sharma in his latest report. Sharma said that similarly, in 2016, out of 3,183 companies, which were deemed active,
2,366 did not file their tax returns.
In acknowledging this report, Head of GRA, Godfrey Statia noted that the authority continues to issue demands to defaulting companies. In addition, Statia said that assessments in the absence of returns submitted are issued to defaulting companies and legal action is instituted against chronic non-filers. He revealed that 2919 demands were issued during 2017 and 1144 were issued this year.
Further to this, the GRA Commissioner General pointed out that nine cases were referred for legal action to be taken for failure to submit tax returns. In light of the number of companies not filing returns and the limited resources at the disposal of GRA, Statia said that the entity has adopted a risk management approach to prioritize the high-risk taxpayers with great revenue implications.
The Auditor General has recommended that GRA pursues all possible avenues to have defaulting companies comply with the requirements of the Corporation Tax Act with a view of maximizing revenue collections.
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