Revenue Commissioner, Margaret Sivers has in response to a News item from CITA Radio 90.1 FM with St Philip North Candidate Dr Sonia Browne, confirmed that as part of its annual audit planning, the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) has been conducting audits in the pharmaceutical sector.

While also confirming that a number of issues have been raised by pharmacists which the legislation already speaks to, she said the Authority is committed to clarity and will develop guidelines to further ensure that the privacy of Barbadians is maintained and secure as the Authority carries out its mandate of tax administration.

The Commissioner assures the public of Barbados that any information requested of business owners by tax officers is related to the accuracy of revenue figures and the application of the law.

“Every effort will be made to establish a privacy policy across the board. Meetings will be held with the Ministry of Health, the Barbados Drug Service, the pharmacies and all other stakeholders as we seek to establish guidelines that take into consideration a person’s right to confidentiality”.

(FILE IMAGE) “The Authority does not in any way wish to view any private prescription information related to members of the public and talks will be held to make sure that any policy taken is mindful of the emotional well-being and legal rights of taxpayers,” she stated.

Sivers also explained that the recent meeting the Authority held with over fifty pharmacists is part of an ongoing sensitisation plan, which sees the engagement of the BRA with groups representing various sectors in the island in order to share information and garner any feedback.

From last year, we have been proactively engaging with several agencies in an effort to not only help them better understand their tax obligations but to have discourse of issues, new and emerging. This is an important function as a tax administration. These meetings have been fostering dialogue with the various groups in Barbados and we will continue this programme as a means of supporting taxpayers in being voluntarily compliant,” she said.

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