The Honourable Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto paid his first official visit to the Departments which comprise the new Tax Office, consisting of the Inspectorate of Taxes, the Department of Audit and Criminal Investigation (taxes), and the Receiver’s Office, to introduce himself as well as members of his cabinet, namely Cleveland Beresford and Dwayne President both Policy Advisors within the Minister’s cabinet.
The Minister also introduced the recently appointed Acting Head of the New Tax Office, Cedric Josepa who was appointed as Acting Head until a new head has been recruited and appointed.
Cedric Josepa was also appointed as the head of Fiscal Affairs until January 1, 2011 and he comes with experience as both head of the Inspectorate of Taxes of the former Netherlands Antilles located on Curacao. His last occupation was as director of Fiscal Affairs for the former Netherlands Antilles.
Cedric Josepa will be responsible for change management within the three departments in order to merge all three into the new Tax Office. He will be working with all three management teams in order to accomplish this.
Furthermore Cedric Josepa will be responsible for building up the department of Management Support within the new Tax Office as well jointly recruiting the necessary personnel within the new tax office in order for the service to the general public can be improved.
At the Inspectorate of Taxes the Minister of Finance called on management and staff to cooperate with the newly appointed manager in order to help him get all the units pointed in the same direction striving to attain the common goals of providing optimal service to the public, increasing compliance and of course working together to bring in some Naf.461 million in 2011.
With the management and staff of the department of audit and criminal investigation (tax) similar sentiments were expressed and more emphasis will be placed on beefing up that department especially considering they are currently operating only at half of the staff needed to function optimally.
An optimal level of staffing is for the aforementioned department is required in order to carry out the amount of audits in order to control that all are paying their fair share and to assist where necessary to increase compliance.
The last stop but equally important was the Receiver’s Office. There the Hon. Minister of Finance met the staff and introduced his cabinet and Cedric Josepa.
The Minister discussed the importance of the Receiver’s Office together with the other three departments to collect the Naf.461 million which will eventually be approved on the 2011 budget.
Other discussion points centered around the long lines at the Receiver’s Office and the newly introduced "drop box" at the Receiver’s Office where customers can leave their payments with the necessary forms in a sealed envelope with their name, crib number and contact number behind.
The drop box is checked periodically and taken into the back and processed. Once complete the customer is called to come to collect their receipt, hence the importance of writing a contact number on the envelope. Other ways of improving the service to the customers in the near future were also discussed. Furthermore the issue of understaffing was addressed as well as some innovative ways of recruiting staff.
"It was a fruitful introductory Monday afternoon spent with the new tax office which culminated in discussing solutions to some of the problems the departments are facing," Hon. Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto said on Monday after his working visit to the different departments.