As confusion surrounds the application of the 2 per cent withholding tax imposed by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and concerns grow over the devastating impacts this new fee will have on the business community locally, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, an economist by profession, told reporters on Monday that the withholding tax will eventually “eat up” the cash flows of businesses that are mandated to pay the charge.The Parliamentary Opposition had argued against such a tax when the proposal was made by Finance Minister Winston Jordan during the 2017 Budget Debates in January.The withholding tax, meant to be deducted from every payment made to contractors by those who had contracted them and remitted to the Guyana Revenue Authority, was designed to broaden the tax base by bringing in the loop more avenues for taxes to be paid into the treasury. But there is currently some confusion about how this measure is to be applied, and proper interpretations from the relevant authorities are not immediately forthcoming. Taxpayers are still confused as to whether the tax would be applied to all “contractors” in the traditional sense, or all transactions involving contracts.GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia“If it is on all contracts then it will be disastrous, because if you sell something, (for instance your motorcycle) then it will be disastrous,” the Opposition Leader reasoned.He noted that even if it is just on contractors in the traditional sense of the word, then such a tax will still have negative impacts on the cash flows. “Even if it is the narrower definition — only contractors and suppliers — then it will still have a serious repercussion on businesses, and it will eat into people’s cash flow,” he explained.Jagdeo noted, too, that this measure is another in the line of administrative pressures being introduced by this government.Questions regarding the application of this tax include whether the 2 per cent will be paid on the amount over $500,000 or the overall sum once the contract exceeds $500,000. Businessmen have told this newspaper that this new measure will pave the way for lots of underground transactions to occur, resulting in an increase in tax evasion. Persons have also questioned whether this 2 per cent withholding tax is Government’s way of recouping the 2 per cent it removed from the Value Added Tax (VAT).The GRA, in its only statement thus far on the matter, has said that the law which applies to payments to resident businesses, individuals and companies with written “contractual arrangements” is not applicable to regular day-to-day commercial activities involving the trade in goods and services. Consequently, payments such as those made by rice millers to rice farmers for paddy purchased are not subject to the two per cent withholding tax.However, the phrase “regular day-to-day” activities leaves much for interpretation, as the GRA cannot define what is not taxable by such ambiguous terms; because what is “day-to-day” for one firm may not be “day-to-day” for another.The GRA had also explained that the withholding tax is applicable to non-resident disbursements and payments, noting that rates range from 10 per cent to 20 per cent, depending on the country of residence.The 2 per cent withholding tax, which took effect on February 1, is applicable to individuals and companies receiving more than $500,000 for the supply of services, goods, materials, equipment or personnel in the furtherance of services. The two per cent withheld for all contractors must be remitted to the GRA on a monthly basis, or within 30 days of making the payment to the contractor.This publication understands that some Ministries have already begun deducting the two per cent withholding tax from money paid to suppliers. However, this is not applicable to foreign trade companies, but, as per prevailing public opinion, rather serves as a discriminatory measure to local businesses.
0Shares0000Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr receiving the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for September. Photo/SJAKNAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr was on Thursday named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for September at the team’s Camp Toyoyo training ground.Kerr, who has guided K’Ogalo to the 2017 Kenyan Premier League title, was unanimously voted by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Football Commission after going unbeaten that month, winning four and drawing one out of five games to collect 13 points out of a possible 15 points. Gor started the month with a 4-0 drubbing over Nzoia Sugar, then thrashed Chemelil Sugar 3-0 away before being held to a goalless draw by Thika United away at the Thika Sub-County Stadium.Kerr returned to winning ways when he guided the record 16 time KPL champions to a 2-0 victory over Tusker FC, beat Sofapaka 2-1 before ending the month in style with a 3-1 win over Bandari.Kerr was nominated alongside Kakamega Homeboyz tactician Mike Mururi but the Kogalo coach triumphed.Kerr tatoo. Photo/SJAKUpon confirming his first ever league victory, Kerr emblazoned Gor Mahia’s crest on his left leg in a permanent tattoo and reaffirmed his commitment to the club.“I’m not going anywhere. I have a commitment to Gor Mahia and my focus is on building the team for next year’s CAF Champions League and another premier league medal. We have worked hard this season and will definitely put in more effort to perform better,” Said the jubilant tactician“It has taken combined effort from the players, staff and club officials for Gor Mahia to play how it did and we can only get better. We have identified players and areas to strengthen so we are due to sit down as a club and make decisions, the right ones for next season’s busy schedule.” He added.Dylan Kerr has been named the September Fidelity Insuarance Coach of the Month. Photo/DYLAN KERRKerr has promised to wrap the league title with a good display against Sony Sugar in their last match of the season this Saturday in Kisumu. Besides playing for maximum points in that tie, Kerr wants to give the fans a good season ender.“The Kenyan league is big and should be supported more. The league organizers and federation should do more to market the league to bring fans to stadium. It’s really disheartening to see 22 fans in the stadium and thousands of empty seats yet the football served is of high quality. Something must be done to rectify that.”“Our last game should be thrilling and we have worked on it without any complacency of having won the title. We want to play well and win for our fans. That way lifting the title feels good. Losing a match then walking to collect winners’ medals does not feel right so we have to win that game,” He added.The Briton, who joined Gor in mid season after Jose Marcelo ‘Zemaria’ had ditched the club, has an outstanding record with the Kenyan giant club, only losing once against Mathare United.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)