The Grenada government has denied any involvement in the decision of a company here to shut down its operations sending home an estimated 200 workers.
“The Ministry of Finance has observed a statement purported to be issued by Andall & Associates Inc. that suggests a decision taken by its management to close operation is in some way directly related to actions taken by the government.
“It must be noted that, the decision taken by the management of any entity to close its operations is purely managerial in nature and should not be attributed to Government.
“The government of Grenada wishes to categorically deny this claim and empathises with the many workers that may be affected as a result. It is important to establish that tax compliance is the responsibility of all taxpayers and that Government has no authority in law to waive taxes,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
Media reports quoted the managing director of the company, Peter Andall, as saying that the company was forced to close its doors on Monday and send home the workers as it could not pay creditors for goods and services.
He said that he was engaged in discussions with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of the Ministry of Finance to work out a payment schedule for the back taxes which he put in the region of “a few millions of dollars,’ (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents).
But Andall is quoted as saying that the IRD is not entertaining his proposal and that the government has written to him demanding all the taxes owed from the proceeds of the sale of the supermarket and food place.
One newspaper reported that Andall was paid in the region of EC$16 million for the sale of the properties.
In its statement, the Ministry of Finance said that historically, government has made “special arrangements and has worked with clients/ taxpayers to allow them the opportunity to settle their legal obligations to the state via payment arrangement and other means.
“We therefore use this opportunity to congratulate the taxpayers who have worked and continue to work with the government to meet their responsibility.
“However, there are instances where clients/taxpayers blatantly refuse to settle their tax obligations, some of which are collected from the ordinary Grenadians who purchase items and pay taxes like that of the VAT, that must then be remitted to the Inland Revenue Division, Ministry of Finance.”
The statement said that as a responsible government, the collection of monies from the working class and the failure to pay over the same to the government while business owners enrich themselves cannot and will not go unchecked.
“The government, therefore, encourages all taxpayers to file and pay their respective taxes to the Inland Revenue Division and further discourages any attempts to engage in any fraudulent or criminal activities at the Customs and Excise Division.
“The government remains committed to engaging clients or taxpayers on the necessary payment arrangements that would allow entities to be in good standing with their tax obligations,” the statement added.