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Government should consider Tax Amnesty – Doug Wheatley

November 26th, 2012 | Tags: tax amnesty Doug Wheatley 3D Show firearm amnesty
Host of the 3D Talk Show Doug Wheatley suggested that government should consider implementing a tax amnesty in the Territory. Photo:VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – While most persons in the Territory might be deliberating the prospects of a recently proposed ‘firearm amnesty’ by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), one commentator has already turned his thoughts to the introduction of a tax amnesty.

Speaking on his programme, the 3D Show, which was aired on a local radio station last Friday, November 23, 2012, host Doug Wheatley suggested that government should consider the implementation of a tax amnesty for persons who have been in default over the years in the payment of their various taxes.

The commentator said, “I would like to suggest that the government consider an amnesty towards taxation… because there are persons who perhaps, unwittingly or otherwise, have run up tax obligations of one kind or another and… there is a penalty… it’s like you could never get up to date…”

He further expressed that there were usually arrears which needed to be cleared before persons could get up to date with the payment of their taxes and this of itself was a “very difficult process”.

Mr Wheatley felt this proposal would be most welcome by persons and government would ultimately find that they would be able to collect a lot more taxes than if they were to try to simply collect arrears and “court house work”.

Some countries around the world have already implemented the measure to good effect including Australia, Belgium, Germany, South Africa and several states across the United States of America.

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced as recently as June 2012 that they had been able to collect more than US$5B as a result of a tax amnesty programme that was implemented for offshore account holders.

“I think you want the public to work with you and you work with the public, together you would probably achieve more than… resorting to… ‘Parker-time tactics’,” the host expressed.

He explained that Parker was a revenue officer of vintage fame, based here from another island, who had established quite a reputation for burning people’s houses or threatening to burn them and said, “we don’t want to go back to that.”

“You want to work with your population and your population wants to work with the government and so you find a method of doing that… I think it would of course have to be studied carefully but it would be a positive move” Wheatley added.

The host also lent his voice in support of the RVIPF’s clarion call for persons to bring in their illegal guns. He recalled hearing that the last time the RVIPF held a ‘firearm amnesty’, the response was not so good, but he felt that if one firearm could be taken from the hands of someone not legally authorised to carry a firearm then that would be a good thing.

One caller on the programme suggested that the RVIPF should also consider offering monetary incentives for its amnesty proposal.

12 Responses to “Government should consider Tax Amnesty – Doug Wheatley ”

  • one eye (26/11/2012, 07:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is a good idea doug and we need to have a Payroll tax for expats only like caymans!!!
  • DEM SAY (26/11/2012, 08:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Taxation without representation is tyranny - James Otis
  • fat head (26/11/2012, 08:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Pure discrimination - but if you think about it carefully, the criminals who break the laws get an amnesty to bring in their guns but me a law abiding resident gets nothing but hell in the BVI and high food prices and cannot get a contract because of all those back taxes and ss..yeap discrimination.

    So in the BVI it does not pay to play by the rules. I agree with Doug its time we law abiding people get something!!
  • cost (26/11/2012, 23:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This will cost a lot to the public purse.

  • BVI lawyer (27/11/2012, 06:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don't think Mr Wheatley is comparing like with like. In other countries, tax amnesties have been offered whereby people who have been unlawfully evading tax are able to reach a settlement and pay their back taxes only, and avoid penalties or jail time for voluntarily confessing. What Mr Wheatley seems to be suggesting is that we just forgive certain taxpayer debts: that would be a write-down rather than an amnesty, as the delinquent taxpayers would basically just get a free ride rather than having to pay their dues. It certainly won't raise money for the BVI in the same way that tax amnesties overseas have raised money for other countries.
  • S.R. (27/11/2012, 07:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    First gov't needs to do an inventory, on site, of every property in territory. This will estblish a current tax base. Then give amnesty to all past due and start with new. Houses have been built, land improve, and even some places removed. Might also help to get rid of abandoned places to avoid future tax on something they have been too lax in removing because it had been not taxed.

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