Friday, March 1, 2024

Tax hit

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THE?HUNDREDS of enumerators who participated in this year’s census and who were expecting to be paid tax free have now discovered that Government will indeed be taking a big chunk of their money.
Census co-ordinator Trevor David confirmed to the DAILY?NATION?yesterday that he had previously informed the enumerators their money would not be taxed.
But David said he was subsequently informed by the Inland Revenue Department and the Accountant General’s Office that the only payments which were not taxed were travelling and entertainment up to a specific threshold.
“Any emoluments being paid [have] to be taxed,” David stated, adding that notices were recently published by the Inland Revenue Department indicating that there would be a 20 per cent surcharge.
The news has not gone down well with the enumerators who are charging that the Barbados Statistical Department (BSS),?which was in charge of co-ordinating the census, should honour the agreement made with them to pay them tax free.
One woman said she had calculated her payments to be $10 000 but now she was being told that she would only receive about $8 000.
“Mr David told us that we would be paid tax free, and that agreement should be honoured,” she declared.
The enumerators are also hopping mad that five months after they completed the field work for the Population and Housing Census, they have not been paid.
Several, who inundated the Nation’s newsroom with complaints, said they were informed that they would have been paid between August and September but no money was forthcoming and they were not getting any answers from the BSS.
“I am calling them every day and I cannot get hold of Mr David, and the workers there are saying that they don’t know what is going on. The money is at the Treasury, so they should pay the workers,” an angry woman stated.
Yet another complained that she had put her “regular job” on hold and had worked through the sun and the rain “because it was Government”.
David told the DAILY?NATION?yesterday that he too, was getting lots of telephone calls from enumerators enquiring about the payment.
However, he denied that the workers were informed that they would have been paid by the end of September.
David said the workers would be paid in batches, and he pointed out that the BSS?was working overtime to have some of them paid by the end of this month.
He explained that when a census was conducted in 2000, everything went smoothly and everyone was paid on time by the BSS. But he said this time around, payment was being calculated through Government’s Smartstream accounting system and all cheques were being written by the Treasury Department.
The BSS?also issued a Press release this week indicating that the processing of payments was now under way and payments would be made in batches until all were completed.
The BSS?further apologised for any misunderstandings.
The Census started on May 2 and was supposed to last six weeks.
There were 583 enumerators,  114 supervisors and  12 senior supervisors.

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