Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue Director Marvin Pickering has announced that businesses that are delinquent in paying their Virgin Islands Gross Receipts Tax can avoid penalties and interest if they pay by January 3, 2017.
The amnesty was included as Section 6 of Act No. 7930 (Bill No. 31-0448) approved by the 31st Legislature in September. An amendment offered by Senator Cliff Graham of St. Thomas established the amnesty, with the goal of encouraging businesses to pay past due taxes now, to provide the Government of the Virgin Islands desperately needed revenue. The amnesty program technically terminates on December 31, 2016, but due to that date falling on a Saturday, when the Bureau of Internal Revenue offices are closed, as well as on Monday, January 2, 2016 for the New Year’s holiday, so Director Pickering has administratively set January 3, 2016 as the date for the deadline on the amnesty program.
Director Pickering is urging taxpayers who have outstanding gross receipts tax obligations to file and pay prior to the deadline. Pickering said in a statement that “the last gross receipts tax returns that will qualify for the amnesty program is the August 2016 monthly gross receipts tax return and the annual 2015 gross receipts tax return”.
Payments for Virgin Islands Gross Receipts taxes may be made by cash, credit card (Visa or MasterCard), bank check or money orders. Pickering said “IRB has a concern about dishonored checks and so is taking this precaution to ensure that all payments accepted under the Gross Receipts Amnesty Program will be honored by the bank”.
“The amnesty will not pause IRB’s efforts to go after past-due taxes,” Pickering said. “The Bureau will continue to contact delinquent taxpayers and attempt to obtain payments through the statutory collection methods.”
Attorney Tom Bolt is Managing Attorney and Chair of the Government Relations Practice Group at BoltNagi, a respected and well-established business law firm serving businesses and organizations throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.