Integrate the two departments

Member of Parliament George Pantophlet is calling on the Minister of Finance Martin Hassink to speed up the process of integrating the St. Maarten Receiver and the St. Maarten Inspectorate of Taxes. The delaying of this process is causing the tax payers of St. Maarten unnecessary frustration and hardship when it comes to the services provided by these two departments. The almost non-existant communication between the entities is causing the taxpayers to waste precious time. Placing the burden of proof on the tax payer is unfair when these departments should have the required information at their fingertips. On this note some suggestions from the member of parliament for the Minister; The Minister should approach Telem and have some extra lines put in place that allows the Receiver’s to contact the Inspectorate of taxes at any time during working hours until a physical location can be found to have them integrated. Also perhaps a kind of a meet and greet should be organized between the two departments. The Member is sensing some animosity which does not bode well for these departments nor the tax payers and by extension the people of St. Maarten. The Minister in a report had stated that these two departments operate like an island to themselves. However It is his responsibility to make sure if this is the case it does not continue. Case in point, It is apparent that when it comes to for example the issue of declarations on turnover tax that although this form is submitted along with its payment at the St. Maarten Receiver’s office that no copies are kept at the Receiver. This means that whenever there is a discrepancy the tax payer in many cases has to be back and forth between the Receiver’s and the Inspectorate of Taxes to prove that his or her information is accurate. Another matter the minister has to clarify Has to do with policies. He wants to remind the Minister that everything government does has to be based on law and not tradition or common practice. It appears to be common practice that if one presumably owes the Receiver(government) 100 guilders and government owes the tax payer1000 guilders the receiver(government will withhold the entire amount. Where is this established by law? Or sometimes a person’s entire salary is withheld leaving him or her with no financial means while the law states one third. The Minister has to speed up the integration process. The proper functioning of these departments are of cardinal importance to the economy of this country.