FINANCIAL SERVICES REGULATORY COMMISSION ENCOURAGING NGOs TO REGISTER TO BENEFIT FROM TAX EXEMPTION

(L-R)Renee Gumbs, Registrar of Companies and Registrar of the Non-Government Organization and Financial Inspector, Shirmel Harris-Edwards
Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 6, 2020 (SKNIS): Officials from the Financial Services Regulatory Commission are encouraging persons to register their Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to receive the benefit of tax exemption.

“The NGOs that have been registered with the Community Development and other government departments, that are responsible for that or who were responsible, have already enjoyed the tax exemption benefit,” said Renee Gumbs, Registrar of Companies and Registrar of the Non-Government Organization.

Ms. Gumbs stated that because of the amendment to NGO Act, which was passed during the last sitting of Parliament on January 23, 2020, there are now guidelines to follow.

The Act reads:
6. Application to Registrar.
(1) Every organisation that is desirous of being registered under this Act shall
apply to the Registrar.
(2) An application made pursuant to subsection (1) shall be in writing and shall
be submitted with the following documents:
(a) the name and address of the NGO;
(b) the Constitution or Memorandum and Articles of Association of the
NGO, demonstrating that it is a company limited by guarantee;
(c) a brief statement and details of the aims, objects and purposes of the
NGO;
(d) the organisational structure of the NGO including its membership and
management, and how Directors are elected, their duties and powers
and terms of office;
(e) the names, addresses and occupation of all of the members of the
Board of Directors of the NGO;
(f) the by-laws, if any, of the NGO.

Amendment of section 6.

The Act is amended in section 6 as follows:
(a) by replacing subsection (1) as follows:
“(1) Subject to the provisions of section 4(b) and (c), every NGO shall be registered pursuant to the provisions of this Act.”;
(b) in subsection (2), by inserting in paragraph (e) the expression, “including beneficial ownership information;”
and by inserting a new paragraph (g) as follows:
“(g) any other relevant documents or particulars that may be requested by the Registrar.”.

“We have the banks and other financial institutions that are on board,” Ms. Gumbs said. “So when you go now to the bank they will ask you for your registration certificate. When you go to Inland Revenue you get the tax exemption. You will be required to show these documents as well. So we are saying you have been enjoying it now we have certain restrictions where you have to register. If you don’t register you will lose that benefit.”

Financial Inspector, Shirmel Harris-Edwards, added that overseas donors can also enjoy tax relief.

“The overseas donor that is providing funding for the local or domestic NGOs, they also can enjoy a tax relief or discount from the funds they have donated as well,” she said.

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