Guyana taxation body boosting systems in preparation for oil & gas

0
Godfrey Statia, Commissioner General - Guyana Revenue Authority

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is working closely with the US Treasury Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) to create a platform that can allow higher systems of transparency and accountability, as the country continues its preparation for the oil and gas industry.

Commercial oil production is expected in 2020 and Guyanese authorities have been working to put systems in place to pave the way for sustainable management of the industry.

GRA’s Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia, speaking at the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association’s Business Luncheon at the Georgetown Club on Thursday said with oil production imminent and the changing dynamics of the business environment, a conscious decision was made to establish a Large Taxpayers Unit.

This decision also took into consideration the fact that 20% of taxpayers contribute to 80% of revenue collected.

“This Unit will be a reality in November 2017, thereby allowing this elite group of taxpayers a one-stop shop for their taxation needs while at the same time maximizing revenue collection through improved audit, review and compliance methods,” he said.

He continued that, “In the area of oil and gas, based on a study conducted by the OTA, the organizational chart has been completed; staff requirements and job specifications identified and budgeted for, with training set to commence by December 31 of this year.”

The OTA has been working to build the capacity in the Audit department to audit speciality sectors, such as banks, insurance, mining, and construction to facilitate preparations for the oil and gas industry.

Further, it is assisting the Internal Affairs function in enhancing capacity to detect and deter corruption as well as build on their first draft Strategic Plan, enhance capacity in planning and management.

A work plan is being developed as part of a late March 2017 site visit to the GRA.