Barbadian Property Owners Living Abroad, BEWARE

The following was received from a concerned Barbadian residing overseas – Blogmaster

Dear BU:

I have hesitated to make this matter public before as it involves the accounting system for Barbados Land Tax but my problem may be a test case that is aimed at the Barbados senior property holders living abroad.  Here are the facts: 

1) Timely tax receipts are non-existent and Notices come late so that those abroad cannot take advantage of a 10% discount.

2) Since 2019 a marked increase in discrepancies whereby I was double-billed for an arrears due on the BRA portal  I paid both and contrary to practice, the over-payment was  not brought forward as a credit and that receipt arrived a year late.

3) In 2020 I made 4 International Money Transfers in Barbados dollars to cover 2 residential lots and 2 co-owned agricultural lots to the BRA Account at Central Bank of Barbados and they were subjected to a charge of which I was unaware.

4) There was a misapplication of deposits with the sum for the second tranche applied to the first residential lot which had a higher tax.

5) A record was sent me by email that showed that the deposit on the higher taxed lot had been made before I had made the IMTs

6) Several registered letters and emails have been sent to the Commissioner Lewis Ward and to a senior accounting officer but they are yet to acknowledge BRA’s mistake and remove the penalties and now I am being charged thousands of dollars

7) To make matters worse, I sent in 2021 a wire to Republic Bank to cover the 4 lots – BDS$7808.98 with detailed instructions as to disbursement.  I asked for receipts but none came but in August 2022 3 lots appear with heavy penalties for non-payment of taxes.  The fourth agricultural lot which is being requisitioned was free and clear.  So where did my money go? 

I have all my receipts that showed nothing was owing until the false deposit. It would seem that this matter is not worthy of reply. nor speedy resolve.  But it has serious ramifications for the safety of money transferred to Barbados by taxpayers and investors.  Please warn other senior citizens.

Wire Transfer record – Redacted by BU

Treating Our Senior Citizens With The Respect They Deserve

It has come to the attention of BU that a few companies in Barbados have been  ‘firing’ long standing employees for questionable reasons. The objective behind what BU labels an unethical action is to avoid paying ‘severance’ to longstanding employees. In one case that we know of the person was employed at a St. Michael company for over 20 years. The only reason BU is withholding the name of the company is the reality it would prejudice the matter which is the subject of litigation for the employee involved. Regrettable the role of the unions in the current environment has become redundant. or so it seems.

There is another concern which BU has, here is a scenario:

My partner is rapidly approaching her 60th birthday and she wanted to find out what her options were for retiring (“comfortably”) when she attained that “wonderful” milestone. So with this in mind I went to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Office and spoke with an officer. He explained to me that the earliest anyone could apply for an NIS pension was at age 60. However, he said, by the time my partner reaches 60 the official retirement age at that time would then be 67 years.

He continued to say that theoretically my partner could still opt for retirement at age 60 BUT would lose 6% for each year up to the age of 67. Some simple maths would reveal that at that point 42% of the total pension would be lost by ‘cashing in’ early.

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