Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019. 9:54 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Following reports from Channel 5 News yesterday that Belize Telemedia Ltd. owed a sum of over $29 Million in outstanding taxes to the General Sales Tax (GST) Department, BTL fired off a press release denying the allegation. However, in an interview today Financial Secretary Joseph Waight did not deny the report and instead disputed the figure reported.
In an interview with Channel 5, Waight said he had not seen the leaked documents but confirmed that there was ongoing audit of BTL’s accounts with the GST Department. He added that the assessment had not been concluded and their findings have yet to be published, adding that the matter is not live, at least not yet. He also indicated that a meeting is in the works between the involved parties to settle the issue.
In a separate interview with BTL Chairman, Net Vasquez, he told Channel 5 that BTL doesn’t owe anything to the GST Department and said the company has always paid its GST consistently on a monthly basis. The GST Commissioner could not be reached for comment. Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte also commented saying he did know the details of the matter but said if BTL owes GST it should be made to pay its taxes.
According to the figures included in the leaked documents, BTL owes over $29.3 million in GST taxes from 2012-2017; $17.9 million in interest; and $2.9 million in penalty fees bringing the finally tally to somewhere around an astounding $50.1 million.
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