Black Immigrant Daily News
Persons who awaiting tax refunds either via cheque or direct deposit are being asked to be understanding as government navigates some cash flow issues to fulfil their payments.
During a question and answer segment after a press conference this afternoon to announce a date for the 2022 VAT Holiday, Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn said:
“Income tax returns have started to pay out. I think what the public should appreciate… we have seen a couple of things. We have seen increased revenue. We’ve also foregone revenue, but government’s expenditure has actually increased like everybody else’s, as well. So we have a number of departments that have been requesting as with everybody in Barbados, additional funds for electricity and the like…
“So there is a slight issue with cashflow. The interventions that we have made to forego revenue, which obviously means that the ability to do everything else and also to pay the refunds, and most of them have been paid.
“I urge the public’s patience.”
He said that recipients do not need to anxious given the goverment’s track record of paying returns.
“We have been faithful with respect to the paying of income tax refunds. If you’re being audited… that’s with a slightly different arrangement. But we hope that we can get past this cash crunch.”
Minister Straughn reminded the public that government had to spend on the national disasters – the ashfall, the hurricane and the freak storm, plus the COVID-19 pandemic and then the war came as well and “we had to respond very quickly to those immediate concerns.”
He explained, “Therefore, 2021-22 really was a very, there was significant pressure because of those events, on the demand for cash outside of what government had planned to be able to execute during the year and therefore we’ve seen it has had an impact obviously on some of those, some of those matters but as you know we still continue to provide the the adopt-a-family programme as well as a range of other other programmes to be able to protect people.
“So the demand for cash has been quite intense and that’s why we feel that once we are able to complete the repairs and reconstruction for Hurricane Elsa, then that should show moderate the cash crunch on government. But we have gotten over that. But obviously with everything else that has happened in the War and the other measures that have been put in place. It clearly would have an impact with respect to the timeliness with respect to that. So it’s not us being, for the lack of a better term, worthless. It’s just the reality in terms of dealing with the demands for cash as required for growing revenue.”
He however assured that they have sufficient resources to “keep up” and “settle most of them. I really hope that we can get back to normalcy certainly in 2023 and therefore, but that’s barring any other significant interventions in the year.”