26 February, 2010
I see from his Itinerary that Mr Roe is arriving on 29 February. I hope the relevant officers of the Ministry of Finance do not do all their counting in this way!
The most scandalous situation exists in the area of property tax and hotel accommodation tax. Will Mr Roe be successful in impressing on us our need to pay our taxes? Or will we continue our historic path of habitual tax evasion? Would someone please remind Hubert what he is supposed to do now that he is in government? There is no excuse for his continuing to refuse to pay his property tax.
My contributions to Mr Roe's exercise are as follows. Now that the accounts are all computerized, and since government does not have to pay for postage, would it be such a problem for the various government departments that collect revenue to send out a reminder or bill to all taxpaying citizens at regular intervals? I know that governments do not usually remind people of their obligation to pay, but is it so difficult to organize? I never remember that I have not paid my property tax until later in the year when I am writing up my accounts and find that column empty.
Can I suggest that he recommend that we begin to move to a value added tax system? It would be relatively easy to introduce VAT for services. All of the major service providers in
Anguilla have computerized accounts. We do not pay income tax. It would be comparatively easy to introduce and to enforce a 20% tax on all services. Small tradesmen will be able to evade the tax comparatively easily, but not the major ones whose accounts are computerized. We could continue for the present to pay customs duties on imported goods until we have developed the expertise to replace customs duties with the VAT.
Anyway, now we know that Victor did sign an agreement with the British to engage in this study in exchange for them permitting him to borrow for the elections! That is how he was able to pay some of our bills last month.
Approvals – 4 September 2009
Green light - 23 September 2009
Income tax - 27 September 2009
FCO Response - 2 October 2009