GST Administration Denies Allegations of Calculated Manipulations

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Updated: April 12, 2017

The Ministry of Finance has responded to concerns raised by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry over allegations of manipulation of General Sales Tax audit results. The Ministry says it rejects any suggestion of manipulation on the part of the GST Senior Management of any Audit carried out by mid-level to lower level GST Auditors. It goes on to point out that under the provisions of the GST Act, the Commissioner of GST is responsible for the administration of the GST, and the assessment, collection and recovery of GST. It says such responsibility includes the review and approval of audits after making any adjustments or choice of methodology that may be required in the course of such review. The Commissioner or any senior staff delegated by her is expressly charged with finalizing to her satisfaction, including by way of making justified changes, audits conducted lower down the chain of command. The advice of the Solicitor General was sought in the matter and he responded to say quote “it is highly improper for an (regular) Officer to challenge the method of assessment recommended by (senior) Management/ Supervisor of Audit and it is an attempt to bring a major revenue department into disrepute”. The Ministry reminds taxpayers that there are provisions within the law for an appeal to be made by any Taxpayer dissatisfied with any audit signed off on by the Commissioner. The release ends by saying the Ministry is as concerned as the Chamber in minimizing the instances of corruption.