Amnesty on Gross Receipts Tax Begins

Businesses that are behind on paying V.I. gross receipts taxes can avoid penalties and interest if they pay by Jan. 3, 2017, according to V.I. Internal Revenue Bureau Director Marvin Pickering.

The amnesty was part of legislation approved in September. An amendment from Sen. Clifford Graham established the amnesty, with the goal of encouraging businesses to pay past due taxes now, so the government can get the revenue. The measure expires Dec. 31; however, that day is a Saturday, when government offices are closed, and offices are closed on Monday, Jan. 2, for the New Year’s holiday, so IRB has set Jan. 3 as the end of the amnesty.

Pickering urged taxpayers who have outstanding gross receipts tax obligations to file and pay the gross receipts taxes before the deadline. Pickering said in a statement 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 the gross receipt tax under the amnesty program should be made by cash, credit card (Visa or MasterCard), bank checks and 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 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.”

For more information, call the delinquent accounts and returns department at 773-1040 ext. 4254 on St. Croix or 715-1040 ext. 2232 on St. Thomas.

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