The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is warning importers and other businesses that they could face the long arm of the law if they do not pass on the reduction in import charges to consumers.
The GRA has given effect to President Irfaan Ali’s directive on the reduction of import charges to pre-pandemic levels in the calculation of duties and taxes on various goods.
The GRA in a release said the measure is intended to provide relief so that the benefits can be passed on to the consumers.
The revenue collection agency said the measures are not intended for importers to evade taxes, and therefore importers will face consequences if any tax evasion is found.
“Should unscrupulous importers seek to manipulate the system for tax evasion, they will be penalized in accordance with existing legislation. In this regard, the Central Revenue Protection Unit (CRPU), Post Clearance Audit Unit (PCAU), and Law Enforcement & Investigations Division (LEID) driven by a Risk Management System will verify the accuracy and authenticity of declared particulars and taxes paid in keeping with law,” The GRA said in a release.
Additionally, the GRA said those importers who are found to be not following the guidelines will be subjected to additional taxes/fines/penalties and six months imprisonment, and the possible removal of the relief being granted under the measure
The GRA said the relief takes effect for a period of six (6) months from August 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022.
President Ali announced the measures this week with the hope of it easing the costs attached to shipping and the prices being paid by consumers in the market places.