There were longs lines yesterday at the Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue Division, Port of Spain, office as many tried to make last-minute outstanding payments to beat the Tax Amnesty 2019 deadline.
The amnesty period lasted from June 15 to September 15. Taxes and returns that remain outstanding after the amnesty ends will have penalties and interest as if the waiver was never in effect.
People lined up from as early as 7 am and by 10.30 am almost 250 people were waiting outside the building.
At the latter time, one person told Newsday the line hadn't moved for two hours. He was hopeful the process would speed up and he would be able to make the outstanding payments before the office closed.
He said, “If I don’t pay, I’ll just have a fine to pay,” and even though he wasn’t aware of E-Tax, an online payment option to file returns, he said, “Right now it's 2019 we can’t be going through this. There should be some kind of online solution. Technology is a big thing now why we still have to line up here. I may just have to pay the interest.”
Another person told Newsday he was hoping the last-minute payment would have been less tedious. He too said he was ready to pay the interest.
According to the ministry’s website “the Act provides for the waiver of: Interest on any outstanding taxes, where they are due and payable for the years up to and including the year ending 31 December 2018 and that the taxes are paid before or during the period of the Tax Amnesty.”
It went on to state that “outstanding interest charged on any outstanding tax due and payable for the years up to 31 December, 2018, where the outstanding taxes are paid before or during the period of the Tax Amnesty.”