Back to business

IT is once again business as usual as commercial banks in Barbados are again disbursing loans for real estate.

This follows a recently held meeting between the Barbados Bankers Association (BBA) and the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA).

It was revealed late last month that the lack of clarity with respect to the issue of tax clearance certificates had apparently held up some real estate lending by commercial banks.

Yesterday, the President of the BBA, Donna Wellington confirmed to the Barbados Advocate that banks are “disbursing because we are getting the tax clearance certificates”. The certificates are issued by the BRA.

However, she said they are working on some other matters.

During the presentation of the Budget and the Budgetary policies Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler had spoken about the meeting, indicating that the matter has been resolved.

There were concerns in some quarters that issuing the certificates can take up to six weeks to be recovered or given. The temporary suspension of lending by the banks had led to intervention in the matter by Sinckler and the Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.

The Tax Clearance Certificate scheme was introduced in the Government’s 2015 Budget by Sinckler as part of a strategy to ensure great tax compliance.
During debate earlier this year on the BRA Amendment Bill, Sinckler said that measures were required to reduce instances where persons conducting transactions while at the same time still owing the government significant sums.

He said that the policy is in keeping with government’s tax collection policy which falls under the Barbados Revenue Authority. The amendment gives the Revenue Commissioner the authority to issue the tax certificates which ensures that liabilities across the system are honoured. (JB)

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