Minister of Finance and Tax Authorities very pleased with turnout to Information Session

Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto who was not able to attend the information session on April 2 held under the theme, "Key elements of a good wage administration," by the Tax Department for the business community of Philipsburg, due to being off island on official business, said he was very pleased to hear about the large turnout and the interests shown by the business community.


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The Minister added that the Tax Department Sint Maarten will be organizing similar information sessions in order to enhance the services that it renders to the community of Sint Maarten.

"With us now being a country, we are now able to give attention and more service to the areas that have been neglected when we were part of the former Netherlands Antilles. Today, a different wind is blowing and with the entire tax system reform, we are on the right track," Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto said on Wednesday.

In his introduction, Roland Richardson, Head Inspectorate Department, hinted that compliance can be improved when the taxpayers are well informed. For this reason the Tax Administration would like to be partners with businesses making sure they provide the relevant information.

Maria Bass, Inspector of Taxes, stated during her presentation that two things are necessary to turn a poor wage administration into a good wage administration, namely the will of the tax payer and his/her knowledge.

Some of the common and recurring errors in a wage administration were also addressed. Bass gave an extensive explanation of the wage tax ordinance and what is expected of businesses.

The businesses had a lot of questions that were posed during the Question and Answer (Q&A) session. The panel for the Q&A part of the session consisted of Minerva Gumbs, Acting Head Receiver’s Department, Maria Bass, Acting Head Inspectorate Department, and Guilliano Saturnilia, Head Audit and Criminal Investigation Department.

One of the points which caused some discussion is the requirement from the businesses, based on article 45 of the General Ordinance on Federal Taxes, to provide the Inspectorate with an annual statement concerning third parties who rendered services to their business.

At the end of the session the Tax Administration catered to some snacks and drinks while business owners had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Tax Administration.

Businesses operating in the Philipsburg area as well as the Indian Merchants Association (IMA) were invited to attend the information session which was held at the Belair Community Center.

The Tax Department Sint Maarten has established as one of its top priority for 2012 its service improvement to the general public.

A number of areas have been identified where service will be number one and this starts with by making sure tax payers are adequately informed.