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Govt owed $27m in Social Insurance payments

Companies owed Government more than $27 million in Social Insurance contributions as of last November, according to Junior Finance Minister David Burt.

Responding to written parliamentary questions asked by Opposition Senator Toni Daniels, Sen Burt revealed that a total of 2,677 companies were 60 days in arrears as of November 30, 2011.

The total value of the owed contributions was estimated at $27,234,210.

Another 281 companies have failed to file a payroll tax return for at least one quarter between January 1, 2011, and September 30, 2011.

Such companies can still be awarded Government contracts, provided they meet qualifications, Sen Burt stated.

“By awarding contracts to qualifying companies, currently in arrears, Government can recover delinquent funds through offset,” he wrote in his reply to Sen Daniels.

“That is, a portion (five to ten percent) of the true contract cost can be withheld from contractor payments and put toward tax delinquencies.”

In order to qualify, the contractor or taxpayer must have met with the Office of the Tax Commissioner representative and established a viable repayment plan. They must also file, and pay in full, current period taxes.

Additional payments, obtained through offset or other means, are made against the outstanding balance.

“The matter of pension contributions and taxes in arrears is a serious concern of the Government,” Mr Burt wrote. “As previously illustrated with the establishment of the Debt Enforcement Unit, the Government places a high priority on collecting outstanding amounts owed.

“The timely processing and publicising of writs has seen a significant increase in collections. Government will continue to take an aggressive stance in recouping tax and pension arrears in order to establish the settlement of Government debt as a priority.”

He added that Government has developed a pilot programme that would allow businesses in arrears with payroll tax who maintained installment plans to pay their debt to Government by offering services of like value.

Junior Finance Minister and Progressive Labour Party candidate for Pembroke West, Senator David Burt

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Published March 01, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated March 01, 2012 at 8:51 am)

Govt owed $27m in Social Insurance payments

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