GRA boosting capacity to handle Guyana’s oil economy

– tax audits, other services

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is strengthening its ability to meet the tax demands of the emerging oil and gas sector.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh said the Government is working on upgrading the GRA’s system, since oil and gas “is a completely new sector to the Guyanese landscape.”

In a recent interview, he said new skills are needed in the tax authority to administer and discharge the responsibilities relating to oil and gas.

“So, there is an oil and gas department that was recently established and we are currently working on building the capabilities in that department, including things like audit capabilities et cetera, to be able to perform the important responsibilities that the GRA has with respect to the oil and gas sector.

But even more broadly, to strengthen capabilities in taxpayer audit, and tax enforcement. That work is very much ongoing,” Dr. Singh said.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh

The Authority is implementing a new information technology system, the Revenue Management System (RMS), which will modernise its operations.

“We are currently in the process of introducing greater online capability so that people can interface with the GRA in an online environment. There are some things that you should not have to go to the GRA to do.

To pick up a tax declaration form or assessment form or to complete and submit your form. There are a number of services that should be capable of being performed online,” Dr Singh added.

He said the task of building and equipping institutions to manage Guyana’s economy is ongoing. However, the GRA has made a lot of progress since its establishment, becoming the single revenue authority collecting all taxes in Guyana.

“Having the single GRA has enabled us to have a more comprehensive view of tax collection processes. I would be the last to tell you that the GRA has all the capacity to meet its needs and that it is fully equipped to perform all its functions.

We recognise acutely, the need to strengthen the GRA, to continue to modernise and strengthen it to respond to the rapidly changing realities of the Guyana economy,” he said. Dr. Singh said a single revenue authority allows the agency to integrate its approach to tax collection as it gives a 360-degree perspective on tax collection for 365 days a year on all taxes.

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