GST looking for $11 million from hard pay businesses Print E-mail
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Thursday, 14 July 2011 00:00

GST officer carrying stack of Committal Warrants.Over million dollars is outstanding to the Government through the collection of General Sales tax (GST) and a total of 13 businesses who owe outstanding and significant figures for sales tax were targeted this week.

One businesswoman came close to going to jail after she was placed on a prison bus late on Tuesday evening but was saved from going to Jail because a check in the amount of $2,500.00 was paid on her behalf. Despite this however she has a significant balance of $38,500.000 in arrears in GST for the period of 2009 and 2010. The woman, Catherine Barothy, of Neon Plastics was picked up on Tuesday evening on the strength of a committal warrant. She was speared from going to jail when the payment of $2,500 was made and an agreement was signed in which she committed to pay 1,000.00 each month until the balance is paid.

On Wednesday another prominent and known businesswoman was being sought by GST.  She is Theresa Parkey, the owner of Hugh Parkey’s Organization and Diving Connection. We were reliably informed that Parkey owes GST in the amount of $108,000 and when interest is added the amount totals to $115,000.

Others that were visited this week by GST’s Legal Officer were Loretta and Vincent Palacio, who own Total Business Solution and World Com. They have an outstanding amounted of $1,720.42 and $18,094.60. We understand that Loretta Palacio is presently out of the country but that a committal warrant is out for her arrest and that warrant has been forwarded to the PGIA upon her return to Belize.  Service One Cleaner which is owned by Samir Chebat was also visited as they owed over $100,000. On Tuesday however a payment was made in the sum of $57,000.

  Another business visited was Ivor Company which is owned by HaidiBaezer who owes GST, a total of $9,421.97. We understand that the company is no longer operating but that the money is outstanding and must be paid immediately.

  The Government of Belize is trying its best to collect outstanding money owed. We were told that the Legal Officer in recovering efforts had made telephone calls, made field visits, sent notice letters and noncompliance letters -to the above mentioned persons since 2009 and 2010. This is something they do on a monthly basis and businesses just refuse to comply. 

Under the law the Commissioner of Income Tax or General Sales Tax has several options available for collection of outstanding monies including the distressing of goods or committal warrants for the taxpayers, including the Principal Officers of the Companies.

The aggressive collection has become necessary since businesses owe over 11 million dollars in taxes to GST. It is to be noted that GST is a consumer tax, meaning that the businesses are collection agents for the government of Belize and the companies themselves are not the ones paying the taxes, rather it is the customers who pay. The businesses simply collect the money on government’s behalf therefore payments ought not to be a problem.