Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 30, 2018 (SKNIS): Homeowners in St. Kitts and Nevis, who are in arrears with Property Taxes with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), are set to benefit from a new amnesty programme announced by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during his monthly press conference on Wednesday, May 30.
“Our Cabinet has approved the recommendation for a Property Tax Amnesty to be effected from June 01, 2018, for an initial period of about one month. I want, then, to urge all taxpayers in arrears to take note and observe the limited time to make a settlement,” Dr. Harris said.
He continued: “this amnesty is a limited time opportunity for individuals and businesses to pay all past due taxes and $100 to cover all past penalties and interest where those penalties exceeded that amount.” Additionally, “persons or entities that have unregistered properties or properties that have been upgraded can during this amnesty period of June, report this information to the [IRD] without being charged any interest or penalties.”
Property Tax is a percentage of the value assigned to a property, which includes land, permanent and temporary structures. The idea to introduce the amnesty is in response to a “less than desirable” compliance rate in the payment of the tax which is due annually.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance added that: “we are of the view that a Property Tax Amnesty can be a useful tool to supplement our Compliance Strategy. By this Tax Amnesty we give opportunities for delinquent taxpayers to become current with their obligations. We create an easement or facilitation if you will, by reducing or waiving interests and/or penalties associated with these arrears. Many countries around the world have used tax amnesties as a fiscal tool to raise additional tax revenues without increasing taxes.”
Dr. Harris noted that at the end of the amnesty period, the 10 percent penalty for late payment and any associated interest fees will be imposed on all property tax accounts that remain unpaid.