Times are still “tough for everyone” and in recognition of this reality, Finance Minister the Honourable Perry Geerlings has decided to offer an extension of the deadline for payment of outstanding taxes or create a payment arrangement for businesses if it is proven that they cannot meet their tax obligation on a timely basis.
Beginning Thursday this week business owners can visit the Reciever's Office in Philipsburg to make their request.
The Finance Minister issued the instruction to (the tax office more particularly) his Ministry this week with a guideline stipulating that the term of a payment arrangement or an extension of payment is limited to between four (4) and 18 months.
The offer applies to businesses who presently have outstanding taxes owed to the Government of St. Maarten. However, the extension or payment arrangement option will only be granted upon request, and each application will be thoroughly evaluated.
If a payment arrangement is granted, the particular businesses with outstanding Tax payments will have the option to make their payments
in installments over a period of four to eighteen months. If the company is granted a delay of payment, they will be given a new date when they would have to make the full payment of their outstanding taxes to the government.
Geerlings made the decision to ease some of the financial burdens on the society considering that the island has still not recovered from the devastation caused by the hurricanes of 2017. He said, "This option gives some leeway to those businesses, who at this time are still suffering the financial consequences of the hurricanes of 2017. It gives society more time to settle their debts in these difficult times."
The Tax Department would take into account the time the company filed their taxes, their financial circumstances and means along with the extent to which there is certainty that the business will be able to meet their financial obligation to the government if they were granted a payment delay or offered a payment plan.
In extreme cases, Geerlings said that the maximum term has been set at 18 months but only if the circumstances of the businesses are justified.
Under normal circumstances, all taxpayers should make their payments to the Receiver's Office by the 15th of each month as they become due and payable one day later. This is usually the case for Turnover and other Taxes. Under these same circumstances, businesses would receive a penalty for late filing and payment of their taxes. However, once you have made a request to pay at a later date and that request has been granted, the penalty for paying later will be waived.
The Ministry of Finance is urging all other businesses whose normal operation has been resumed post-Irma to continue paying their taxes as prescribed by law.