GRA announces more tax relief measures in fight against COVID-19

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) today announced a range of additional tax relief measures that will assist Guyanese as the country grapples with the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tax relief, the entity stated, will support businesses and individuals who have been socially and economically disadvantaged by the threat of the virus.

Among the relief measures are:

    • Removal of VAT on Water and Electricity with effect from April 01, 2020, to June 30, 2020.
    • Removal of VAT on Domestic Air Travel with effect from April 08, 2020, to June 30, 2020.
    • Extension of the April 30 deadline for the filing of tax returns to June 30, 2020. However, estimated remaining taxes using “management financial statements”, for the Year of Income 2019 (Year of Assessment 2020) must be paid by April 30th, 2020.
    • Expediting the processing of VAT refunds for businesses and PAYE refunds for employees.

The Revenue Authority noted that despite having employees working from home, it continues to provide essential services to the taxpaying public, while at the same time, collect vital revenue necessary for the provision of services to the people of Guyana.

GRA is also fast-tracking the provision of its services electronically including the submission of documents and payments. It also continues to provide the essential services needed to clear all items, both by air and sea and also to expedite exports.

The tax relief measures are in addition to those announced earlier which, are re-listed hereunder:

    • The waiver of VAT and duties on COVID 19 medical supplies and lab testing kits.
    • The granting of tax deductions for all donations made by local businesses to staff and health institutions for the treatment of the virus.
    • The deferral of the payment of advance corporate and individual advance taxes for the Year of Assessment 2021 (Year of Income 2020) and PAYE for affected businesses until June 30, 2020. For example, airline and tourism and associated industries, like hotels and transportation, who continue to employ their employees, or send their employees on extended vacation leave, the payment of advance taxes will be deferred without penalty and interest; and
    • Affected businesses will pay advance taxes on the current year basis.

The Revenue Authority also noted that some of its employees are rotated weekly, and at the close of work every Friday, the entire building is fumigated.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.