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Rick Lowe: Government Acting Immorally Over Tax Compliance Certificates
By Rick Lowe
Aug 24, 2016 - 3:24:40 PM

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During the last Budget presentation the Government snuck a provision through that businesses would have to apply for a Tax Compliance Certificate in order to be paid by them for goods and services.

In essence, if your taxes are not paid, the government will not pay you.

Seems like a reasonable proposition until you make application and find out that if a courier company imported something on your behalf and has not paid the import taxes you cannot get paid by the government. And it doesn’t matter if you paid your courier company.

Let me expand a bit.

A courier company clears your goods on the strength of a guarantee or Bond with Customs that the government can draw down on if the courier company does not pay the import taxes. But instead of doing so, and calling on their first charge (the bond), the Ministry of Finance deems the consignee should be held liable even if you have paid the courier company,  and refuses to issue your Tax Compliance Certificate.

Having to apply for a Tax Compliance Certificate to the authority that tells you you are compliant or not is laughable until you stop and think how ridiculous it is. You mean they don’t know if a company is tax compliant or not until the government makes them jump through more bureaucratic hoops in order to obtain yet another piece of paper?

Enough is enough. Businesses should refuse to sell goods or services to the government on a charge basis. You want a product or service Mr. Government, you pay for it via cheque, cash or credit card like everyone else.

To get goods and services from a business and then withhold payment because a courier company has not paid their import taxes is nothing short of immoral and confirms the old saying from Oliver Twist that “the law is an ass, an idiot”.

Completely contrary to common sense in this case.

Yours in Liberty,
Rick Lowe

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his/her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of TheBahamasWeekly.com

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