David Comissiong Returns His $500 Alleged "Income Tax Remittance"
DAVID A. COMISSIONG, LLB (UWI) L.E.C. (Hugh Wooding Law School)
6th May 2018
Barbados Revenue Authority
Sixth Floor, Treasury building,
Bridge Street, Bridgetown,
Barbados, BB 11129
Dear Sirs / Madams,
Re : My Return of your $500 Remittance Cheque
On Saturday 5th May 2018 , I returned home in the evening to find a Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) letter addressed to me sitting on my kitchen counter.
And when I opened the letter I discovered that it contained a Barbados Revenue Authority cheque made out to me for the sum of $500.
The BRA invoice attached to the cheque suggested that the $500 payment constituted the payment to me of an Income Tax remittance.
Now, I was extremely pleased when, a couple weeks ago, I learnt that the BRA would finally and belatedly be making Income Tax remittance payments to my fellow Citizens who are legitimately entitled to such Remittances, and who have been denied what is rightly due to them for such a prolonged period of time.
Indeed, I was gratified that the pressure exerted by our Trade Unions, by the Opposition Parliamentarians, and — most significantly — the pressure generated by the fact that a General Election was imminent, caused Minister Chris Sinckler and your agency to decide that you all HAD to make at least SOME of the long outstanding Income Tax Remittance payments to our long suffering people .
So I am extremely glad for all of those Barbadians who are legitimately entitled to receive Income Tax Remittance payments and are finally receiving some portion of what is due to them !
But as far as I am aware I don’t fall into the category of a person who is legitimately entitled to receive an Income Tax Remittance payment ! So why have I been sent a cheque for $500 ?
I can’t help but take note of the fact that in the ten years that the Democratic Labour Party administration has had control over the affairs of our nation the ONLY time I can recall ever having received an Income Tax Remittance cheque is yesterday — some 18 days before a most critical General Election. Why is this?
Every year I — as a self employed person — dutifully pay my Income Tax, and I carefully calculate precisely how much I owe my Government. I don’t under pay, and I don’t over pay .
I cannot therefore be entitled to a Remittance, and I do not intend to accept any payment that I am not entitled to !
When — some four years ago — Minister Chris Sinckler made public his intention to create the Barbados Revenue Authority — my organization (the Clement Payne Movement) issued an Open Letter dated 2nd April 2014 to the Trade Unions of Barbados and admonished them as follows :-
Why then are you facilitating the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration in their efforts to hive off a huge chunk of our Barbadian Civil Service, and to place it under the management and control of a politically appointed Statutory Corporation?
As you are aware, the Stuart Administration has commenced upon a mission to take hold of such critical and sensitive Central Government agencies as the Inland Revenue Department, the Land Tax Department, the VAT Division, the Customs Department ….. and to place them under a new statutory board – to be designated the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) – that will be controlled by a Board of Directors, the majority of whom shall be partisan political appointees.
All of these agencies process and have access to the most sensitive financial information about the citizens of Barbados. They are also extremely powerful agencies, and – in the wrong hands – can do a lot of damage! Why then would we wish to take these agencies out of a relatively non-partisan and professional Civil Service structure and place them in the hands of partisan political appointees? It just does not make sense!
It did not make sense in 2014, and recent developments have confirmed that it continues to not make sense in 2018.
Please permit me to state for the record that I am NOT selling anything, and therefore I do not wish to receive any sum of money that could in any way be mistaken for a “purchase price”.
Indeed, when I exercise my Constitutional right as a Citizen of Barbados to vote on 24th May 2018 I intend to do so with a mind that is free and guiltless — a mind that is not cluttered and burdened by my having received anything that I am not legitimately entitled to.
I now therefore hereby return your $500 cheque. Please find the said cheque enclosed herein.
DAVID A. COMISSIONG