The tax collection agency tasked with bringing in nearly a fifth of government revenue has been struggling with database issues that are hampering collection and enforcement. But officials hope the problem will be fixed in the coming weeks.

 

According to the 2015 report of the Standing Finance Committee, Inland Revenue Department Commissioner Karen Smith-Aaron said that her agency, which will spend about $1.5 million on its operations in 2015, will bring in nearly $55 million in tax collections.

However, those efforts are challenged by an “inadequate” electronic system and the lack of a systems administrator, limitations that require staffers to sometimes rely on paper-based systems, she told lawmakers during the SFC deliberations.

Those challenges make it “impossible or extremely difficult for the human resources to manage taxpayers on a manual basis, and they are seeking a systems administrator to lead the charge,” the SFC report stated.

In an interview on Monday, Ms. Smith-Aaron said because of the configuration of the department’s tax administration software, it is difficult for the agency to get totals of arrears, taxes receivable, or lists of delinquent taxpayers.

“The problem we’re having is that we’re unable to pull reports,” she said.

She added that the department has contracted with a consultant from St. Kitts, who is working to reconfigure the system to get the necessary information. The consultant is currently working on the problem and hopes to resolve it and train staff on the changes in the coming months.

 

See the Feb. 12, 2015 edition for full coverage.

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