JIS News

The Tax Administration Directorate is encouraging persons needing assistance to file income tax returns for 2005, to use its toll free helpline, 1-888-TAX-HELP (1-888- 829-4357).
Taxpayer Information Specialist at the Tax Helpline, Nadia Williams, told JIS News that the toll free number allowed persons to ask questions pertaining to any local tax matter, ranging from income tax to motor vehicle rates and stamp duty.
“Apart from answering basic questions such as what is the income tax threshold, we also provide answers to some technical questions. Additionally, we liaise with the other revenue departments to ascertain where taxpayers are experiencing any difficulty to assist in resolving problems that they may be having,” she said.
“We also provide information on procedure to follow for various things,” she continued. The frequency of calls varies from 50 to 60 per day, with an approximate duration of anywhere between one minute and 30 minutes, depending on the technicality of the question that is raised.
Mrs. Williams explained that persons receiving a busy signal would be greeted by the answering machine, which directs them to the website and gives them the opportunity to leave a message. Persons not satisfied with leaving a message can call the switchboard at 922-7161 or the straight line numbers, 922-6371 or 924-9079.
“We will either return your call the same day the message is left or the following (day), depending on the volume of calls. There is also an e-mail response facility, which is linked to the website.so we answer queries via that medium as well,” she said.
Mrs. Williams informed JIS News that the two most common questions asked are: what is the income tax threshold? And how can I get a refund?
With an increase in the number of persons accessing the toll free number, statistics are being gathered to determine whether there is need for more tax help specialists and/or number of lines.
The specialists are trained through the Revenue Agent Scholarship Programme, which is now known as the Tax Audit and Revenue Administration Scholarship Programme.
This 13-month intensive training course exposes trainees to all locally administered tax types and also provides training on advanced accounting, as well as taxpayer relations.
The tax helpline is available between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday.

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