The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be moving to take a tougher stance against tax defaulters during the year 2018, after the year 2017 ended with Central Government being owed over 300 million dollars in taxes.

Prime Minister Gonsalves speaking at a news conference this morning said that the government has to vigorously address outstanding arrears of taxes, penalties and interest on taxes, this year.

According to the Prime Minister, as at December 31, 2017, the Central Government was owed 301.8 million EC dollars in taxes, of which the base tax across all categories of taxes amounted to $177.4 million, penalties $26.88 million and interests $97.5 million.

Dr. Gonsalves said the tax arrears owed at the end of December includes just over $85 million in Corporation Tax, $28.5 million in Personal Income Tax and Withholding Tax $5.2 million.

He noted however, that the majority of tax arrears relate to taxes owed on Value Added Tax (VAT) which amounts to a total of 68.7 million dollars (base tax $34.3 million, penalties of $22.8 million and interest of $11.5 million) and PAYE of just over $24 million with the interest being over $5 million.

The Prime Minister said he has told the Inland Revenue Department that it needs to be more focused on the collection of taxes.

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