Barbados Government withholds hotel’s VAT refund for two years. Punishment for owner’s activism or Barbados lacks money to pay?

“As a frequent writer on tourism matters, I have become used to attracting a high level of attention in Government circles with all the negative consequences this has brought over the years, but this is another matter.”

Government’s revenge on a foreign investor and business owner?

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

On or before the 15th March 2013, we will be expected to pay over to Government the amount of $37,526.60 in Corporation taxes due for the last financial year. If we do not pay on time, then there will be an immediate fine of 5 per cent of the amount due, which equates to $1,876.33 plus interest accrued of 1 per cent per month or 18 per cent annually, which is 3 times the latest rate of Government borrowings to sustain a bloated public service and pay for dismally failed projects like GEMS (Hotels and Resorts Limited) and the chartering of Carnival Destiny for CWC2007.

As a small business that has operated on Barbados for twenty five years and that is fully paid up with all our statuatory obligations, it is a significant amount of money. Yet the same Government has owed us outstanding VAT refunds of nearly $30,000 for up to two years. Of course they have not paid us any late penalty charges or interest.

Before going public, I have written personally to the Ministers of the various Government bodies involved, but up until today, not received any form of response.

It appears they feel they have no obligation to businesses that are successful, sustainable (through there own efforts) and those who have demonstrated viability over decades of operation.

Yet week after week, it is almost impossible not to read or listen to endless rhetoric about the importance that small businesses will play in the recovery of our economy.

As a frequent writer on tourism matters, I have become used to attracting a high level of attention in Government circles with all the negative consequences this has brought over the years  But this is another matter.

We are left with three simple choices. Go into overdraft and pay commercial bank interest to pay the corporate taxes due, pay the fine and interest or receive the monies we are owed by Government.

At the same time, the new administration must define its priorities and decide whether it is going to be its policy to support and encourage small businesses to grow and survive or whether through its actions, it is going to bury them, with all the employment implications that brings.

Adrian Loveridge
Peach and Quiet (Barbados) Ltd

7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

7 responses to “Barbados Government withholds hotel’s VAT refund for two years. Punishment for owner’s activism or Barbados lacks money to pay?

  1. Canby

    Unfortunately the government does not set the example by not paying or returning funds to businesses who do pay their taxes.
    For those who are in arrears they should not be reimbursed until they have paid up. The Government needs funds to operate and services to the public would improve with the proper finances.

  2. Razzaq

    In a case like this can the government not offset the amount they owe of $30000 against the corporation tax due from the business?? Its unbelievable the incompetence of some public sector entities in this country…. truly shocking

  3. Common occurrence

    Sorry to hear Adrian

    The government has been victimizing many hard working business owners and investors with delay and double standards for many years now.

    The only thing left to do is ask for people not to come to Barbados or support it in any way until it becomes a fully accountable, non-racist society.

  4. 27

    i think the white gentleman who is now an expert on tourism now has freedom of speach in barbados to talk had to keep silent when barbados labour party was in power is now an expert on every thing

  5. Mark Fenty

    Anonymous, what has happened to your thinly woven grammar,it appears to be disintegrating right before our eyes?

  6. Mark Fenty

    Anonymous, if any citizen in Barbados is made to keep silent because of a particular political party that is in power. It is a bad reflection on both political parties and the electorate in Barbados, to allow such an undemocratic thing to take placed in what is supposed to be a democracy.

  7. Mark Fenty

    Anonymous, your opinion shows quite clearly the inner morals and convictions that fuel your thinking. Because any man who respect principles of a Democratic society would repudiate such conduct; such conduct is obviously an affront to the values we support and defend in our part of the world.