Administration Pays Out $4 Million in Income Tax Refunds

BIR Director nominee Joel Lee testifies before the Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee on Thursday. (Barry Leerdam photo for USVI Legislature)
BIR Director Joel Lee testifies before the Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee. (Barry Leerdam photo for USVI Legislature)

The Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue (IRB) paid out an additional $4 million in income tax refunds to tax filers in the territory, according to a press release issued Thursday by the Office of the Governor.

The latest round of refunds comprises approximately 1,500 refunds covering Tax Year 2016 and representing returns filed through April 18, 2017.

IRB Director Joel Lee said, however, that the latest release of refunds does not include all the returns filed on the April 18, 2017 filing deadline.

“Those refunds will be issued in the next release of refunds,” Lee said, before making a point to note that refunds are processed and issued based on the date the return was filed.

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To date, the Administration of Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and Lt. Gov. Tregenza A. Roach has paid out $21.4 million in income tax refunds to more than 9,300 filers. The figure accounts for $19.3 million in refunds and $2.1 million in interest owed.

U.S.V.I. residents who were included in this latest round of refunds already should have started receiving their checks, according to Lee.

“The release of these refunds underscores the Bryan/Roach Administration’s continued commitment to addressing the long-standing obligations of the Government of the Virgin Islands,” said V.I. Finance Commissioner Kirk Callwood.

The governor echoed Callwood’s statement and added that the refunds are another example of his Administration’s vow to stabilize and restore the public’s trust in the government.

“Our administration continues to press forward on our three main priorities of stabilizing government, continuing the recovery and growing the economy,” Bryan said. He added that paying the government’s outstanding debt obligations, including to the Water and Power Authority and most importantly the people of the Virgin Islands, is part of stabilizing government.

“We are doing what we said we would,” the governor said. “A stable and financially sound government is the solid foundation we need to be able to make meaningful investment in our people and infrastructure with the recovery dollars.”

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