BVI News

A number of employers are stealing from the gov’t

Investigations by the Department of Labour & Workforce Development have revealed that a number of employees and employers across the territory are understating earnings in an effort to withhold taxes from the government.

That’s the revelation made by Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley who was speaking in the House of Assembly on April 15. He said the investigations show that much of these unscrupulous activities were done in 2019 — before COVID-19 began affecting the economy.

The minister said officials noticed the illegal trends in the labour market after examining documents that business owners must submit for work permit applications to be processed.

The documents include Certificates of Good Standing from the Social Security Board, Certificates of Earnings on behalf of the employees, and paperwork from the National Health Insurance and the Inland Revenue Department.

“After conducting thorough investigations, the department found that in 2019, which is even before COVID-19 affected our shores, many employees were making less than the mandatory minimum Gross Income of $12,040.00 per annum. In fact, many persons were not even remitting the 52 weeks contributions prescribed by the Social Security Board,” Minister Wheatley explained.

He continued: “It was further noted that in 2019 gross earnings for some permit holders were even listed to be as low as $960.00 for the entire year.”

Illegal workers and employers pardoned

Additionally, Minister Wheatley said officials have noticed a trend where some employees’ work permits were found to be held by one employer but their statutory contributions were being paid in under another employer.

This means that these employees were not working with the companies identified on their work permits.

But instead of denying these work permits, Minister Wheatley said officials took a proactive stance and approved the renewals for these workers for six months as a means to ensure that the employers and the employees would meet the established protocols.

“This is what we call extending mercy; particularly during these times that we are faced with,” Minister Wheatley expressed.

Employers refusing to pay contributions

The minister further said the government knows that some cash-strapped businesses choose to take the monies from their employees’ paychecks under the guise of “borrowing” the money to pay it back later. 

“Others simply take the money with no plan to repay it,” Wheatley expressed.

“As such, we are reminding employers that once they withhold the requisite payments from their employees’ paychecks, along with their required out-of-pocket portions, the monies deducted must be reported and paid directly to these agencies on a monthly basis. Failure to ensure that these measures are taken will result in work permit applications not being processed efficiently,” the Minister further stated.

He added that some businesses involved in ‘pyramiding’ may also try to start a new business under a different name.

“Whatever the reason, not making these payments is one of the worst things an employer can do. Failure to pay constitutes stealing from their employees. Employers who engage in this practice are subject to penalties assessed by the relevant agencies. It is important to understand that these contributions or payments are part of government’s revenue.”

“Therefore, when payments are not made, the government loses money that is beneficial to the running of this territory, especially during these adverse economic times. The government does not take this lightly and will not relent in its efforts to collect the amounts owed,” Wheatley expressed.

 

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26 Comments

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  1. heckler says:

    and government is stealing from the taxpayers

    Like 63
    Dislike 5
  2. Next steps says:

    will we see enforcement? Any employers who will be showing up in court soon? What are you doing about this issue?

    Like 47
    Dislike 1
  3. PT9 says:

    The kettle calling, the pot bottom black Based on what someone told yesterday who went to labour on business, Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley you are a *** of time and the taxpayers money. Look for a different job you are not cut out for this one.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  4. Hot air says:

    Nothing will be done! As usual. The ministers and other gov workers are the worst offenders. Legitimate businesses suffer trying to compete with these thief’s but they are so well connected nothing is ever done. Would love to see you follow through on this Mr Wheatley. But you will be upsetting a lot of people, all BVIlanders!!! We need the British to come in and help sort this corruption before the islands are destroyed. All the white people we hate on so much will all be gone and we will be left with nothing!! Another little third world country with a few wealthy people and the rest poor!

    Like 29
    Dislike 3
    • @ Hot Air says:

      Any Black mind that is asking for the childre of his former slave masters and oppresores to come run his affairs is a feeble, inaine, obtuse and ignorant person not worthy of liberty or Hot Air.

      Like 3
      Dislike 16
      • Hmp says:

        Unfortunately the children of slaves killing the children of slaves (almost like dog eat dog show). It is time to vote persons who have no self interest attached and not afraid to tell others when they are wrong and will take care of all people whether they vote for them or not. We are going down hill fast and someone needs to step in before we finish damaging the economy – one party start it and the other finishing it. Time to flip this script. Many, like I, do not like the COI but yet the many understand the need for it to get this place fixed – it is taking too long. Partial rule for a while to put systems in place to manage and call a fresh election. the current administration (who a lot of us supported) and their cronies on those boards need to be expelled.

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
  5. Guest says:

    Oh my goodness gracious, noooooo!!…you don’t say…..who would have thought that…….not in the BVI

    Like 10
  6. Must say says:

    DEJA VU, THIS HAVE BEEN GOING ON FOR A WHILE. I GUESS IT IS OKAY OR THE NORM. ANOTHER EPISODE OF SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG. MOST OF THE EMPLOYEES THAT WAS ACCUSED OF STEALING IS RELATED TO THE WHICH I COULD CARELESS ABOUT A LAST NAME CLUB.

  7. @ NEXT STEP says:

    ONLY THE NOBODYS / THEM BIG BOYS WHO HAVE ENJOYED THIS WONDERFUL BEHAVIOR ARE PROTECTED BY THEIR FAMILY AND BIG FRIENDS AND IT AIN’T NO SECRET \ BUT AS BIG AS YOU THINK YOU ARE ( SIX FEET IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER ) SO LET ME ENCOURAGE THEM TO DO THE RIGHT THING

  8. Judge Dred says:

    Nothing. Too many cousins and cronies involved.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
  9. musa says:

    this issues been around for along time to fix this problems if you know these peoples just revoke they trade lic.

  10. What!!!’ says:

    “Next steps”. Been going on for ever, “what are you going to do” NOTHING as usual.

  11. Yow says:

    But the government stealing from us too !! So why ayo complaining for

  12. And? says:

    And nothing will be done about it. The same nothing that was fine to the employees deducting taxes and not paying it forward. Guess they’ll find a way again to punish just the employees.

  13. Through the Looking Glass says:

    There is several people reporting $ 6 per hour incomes to get minimum NHI fees and not paying SS yet have there housing , cost of living, vehicle, and spending money covered that I am aware of

  14. ReX FeRaL says:

    Government stealing also. Why they do not pay increments to who they owe?

  15. Awh says:

    Well what about locals are they payingvtheir correct amount. We can keep teack of the expats because they have to get their documents from all the tax places but are you going to investigate the locals now too.

  16. Fact! says:

    my 2 cents working for any company an my ss or nhi its not being paid then when go to check my health they charging me in the thousands what I can`t afford come on !! ppl what yall want me 2 do??

  17. Dede says:

    Tell us something new. What we as employees need to know, is government plans for enforcement. Not just the usual rhetoric. How can we as employees ensure our monies are being paid in without any retribution from our employers. Lastly can we get interest added on since we could have deposit it in our accounts or other stocks. Seriously this matter needs to be address as this affects the livelihoods of workers along with their offsprings and their future.

  18. gh says:

    its sarcasm! you don’t even know what it means

  19. Truth Be Told says:

    Minimum wage making people do all kinda stuff. Please up the Minimum wage people can’t live in these Beautiful BVI…because It is rather salary or increment. That price control bill…hmmmm. Too much curry favor in this place. They want to manufacture weed and now race track. Too much mishandling of taxpayers money. People are hurting. BVIslanders and Expats are hurting financially. People DECIDING WHETHER to keep the water on, pay rent or buy food. NONSENSE. YOU ALL HAVE HE GOOD GOD OF THE UNIVERSE TO ANSWER TO. Stop behaving like the Hurricanes and Covid only his some.of us…they affected everyone living in these Virgin Islands.

  20. Render unto Caesar what is his unto God his says:

    yes, the UK need to come in to Run the Inland Revenue properly. The employers stealing the employee 8% payroll tax , Social Security 4% and NHI 3.75% .Total =15.75% multiply that by 52 weeks you see how my revenue the government have out there need collecting.the system is broken along time. the old saying said only when wind blow you see fowl bottom, if Covid-19 didn’t come some of these issues would continue sweep under the rug.

    In the USA they cannot get away with this scheme the IRS will be put in”JAIL” why are they not putting these thieves in Jail here in the BVI, the employees cannot pay it in because the Law give the employer the responsibilities.`

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