BVI News

Work permit renewal policies relaxed! Several businesses owe ‘large sums’ in back taxes

Due to a large number of employers failing to qualify for certificates of good standing, the Department of Labour has relaxed its recently-revised policy needed for employees to renew their work permits.

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley made that announcement during in Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Assembly.

He said: “It has been brought to my attention that there are many employers who have large outstanding balances and are unable to make a one-time payment to qualify for the certificates.”

“As it is not our intention to turn well-meaning business persons into criminals, taking into consideration that many businesses are still recovering from the devastations of 2017, we have decided to relax the requirements, just a bit, as we still have to collect our dues,” the minister added.

Payment plan must now be submitted

Wheatley said businesses who have failed to qualify for good standing certification will be allowed to renew work permits once they present a payment plan to the department outlining how they intend to repay the monies owed.

“It is the intention of the government to have the relevant departments assist employers with their payment plans in order to pay off their balances. These plans can be attached to the renewal work permit application which the Department of Labour and Workforce Development will accept to process the renewals,” he explained.

Electronic system to speed up processing

Due to the many complaints about the long processing time for entities to receive good standing certificates, Wheatley said his ministry will be upgrading from its current manual systems.

“A meeting was convened by the Permanent Secretary in my ministry with all the relevant departments to discuss and address these concerns. Coming out of that meeting are plans to put an electronic system in place and thus allow the various departments to respond in a timelier manner,” he stated.

The new policy

Earlier this month, Minister Wheatley announced that all applications from the employee would have to be submitted with good standing certificates of the employer’s company before the Labour Department accepts any work permit renewal applications.

These good standing certificates would show that the employer is up to date with all payments from the Social Security Board, Inland Revenue Department and National Health Insurance.

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32 Comments

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  1. SMH says:

    Why announce the program without a proper analysis of all involved? There should have been moves to get everything online BEFORE announcing the program. So many employees/employers wasted so much valuable time dealing with this BS over the past few weeks. With all the COVID distancing and rubbish you would think that the Ministers would realize having people request good standing from all these agencies all of which are manual, will pose a problem. When you think it cannot get any worse they prove you wrong.

    Like 40
    Dislike 2
    • Huh! says:

      So the Govt is cutting some slack to employers that have deducted NHI, SSB and Payroll from employees but not handed the cash over to the Govt. Why would the Govt do that? Rather than cutting some slack, the Govt should be sending in the forensic auditors to check how much has been defrauded?

      Like 48
      Dislike 3
      • Wait says:

        Theft plain and simple.

        Lock them up.

        Prison only for the little guy? So wait, people up Balsam Ghut for stealing and these businesses get a break?

        But the workers Social Security and NHI and Tax pmts not paid, so they have been robbed. Wake up people, demand these pmts be made.

        If the businesses could not afford to pay the these in the best of times, HOW ARE THEY GOING TO PAY NOW?

        Sickening how the Government of the BVI enables GRAND THEFT.

        How these people going to use NHI? W O W

        Like 25
        Dislike 1
  2. ? says:

    You all came out all bright like a barking dogs and now you are relaxing things now.You all thing that is the expats fault and once they are not on good grounds you will send them back home now you realize that is your own not paying in these taxes.

    Like 51
    Dislike 3
    • @? says:

      Yes, they were happy and joyous when the government announced the 7% tax on money services because it was going to affect mainly expats but look now, nothing because it’s mainly locals who are not paying taxes but always demanding the best for the Territory.

      Like 41
      Dislike 1
  3. TruDat! says:

    It would be in the public interest to publish the names of these businesses and the amounts owed.
    Let’s bring honesty and transparency to the forefront now. This list should be updated monthly to show who is paying and who will be going to court for non-payment…

    Like 44
    Dislike 3
    • yes says:

      Like we need to know who don’t pay so we make sure we don’t work for them n get robbed. Slavery alive n well in BVI, n BVISLANDERS r slave masters…

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  4. local says:

    One Jokey Government

    LOL LOL

    VIP The Mouth Champs And News Champs!!!

    LOL LOL

    Let the Businesses Pay Up!

    They Already Made Employees pay 65$ just for these certificate!!!

    Anyways Government well need the renew work permit money lol BVI Can’t Do Without Expats!! Don’t make it seem like you guys have petty on businesses now is the money needed lol

    Like 28
    Dislike 3
  5. vip heckler says:

    There we go again, VIP passing laws one week and relaxing them the next week

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  6. island boy says:

    what a farce. For how long have these entities not paid the monies they withheld from their employees it is disgusting and criminal. When is the government looking after the employees and not after the criminals who collect monies from their employees and not paying the dues to the government ie. NHI and SS.
    When are we going to have a government who will look after the average person and not after their cronies.

    Like 31
    • Cheese Stand Alone says:

      HOA are criminals to their own survival. Once again businesses in the BVI are getting undeserving breaks. They are thieves. Working poor people for less and still keeping their benefits for more….they can’t get enough.its a shame that poor people still have to work hard and carry the burden of the British Virgin Islands.
      New monies came from expats. Monies already taxed. No one looked into the fact that the business had to pay the tax. It fell on the consumer again. The business don’t want to pay their taxes so the people have to pickup the tab.
      Look into the business sector for new monies….stop giving companies that can afford to pay breaks. Eg. check the banks. A credit card at 20% max and our deposit account at 0.0001%. Do you know what that is injustice to the people of the bvi. How can we survive when you guys are not displaying equal rights and justice. Then another crucial blow to the expat again. Good standing certificates.how does bill ends up on the expat? Looking in the wrong place for new monies. You all are afraid to bring companies in the bvi to justice.
      Another blow. Correct me if I’m wrong. How in the name of HOA SS allocating our monies to Trade for grants for Small Businesses. Stop trying to steal our monies. Mrs. Skelton can find better ways to assist the people with that monies( Wife/husband Spousal benefit) or something. Stop creating ways to use our monies. We are in crucial times stop finding monies to allocate here and there, we do not know what the future holds at this time save some of our monies for later.

  7. cart before horse says:

    He is now backing up like a lobster

    Like 14
    • Wait Wait don't tell me! says:

      Theft plain and simple.

      Lock these business owners up.

      Prison only for the little guy? So wait, people up Balsam Ghut for stealing and these businesses get a break?

      But the workers Social Security and NHI and Tax pmts not paid, so they have been robbed. Wake up people, demand these pmts be made.

      If the businesses could not afford to pay the these in the best of times, HOW ARE THEY GOING TO PAY NOW?

      Sickening how the Government of the BVI enables THEFT.

      How these people going to use NHI? W O W

      Like 11
  8. yes problem says:

    This is really a joke how some employers exploit their workers. Government have to get a ‘lid’ on this. Call it what you may, as a citizen here I see this as another form of holding the whip. Think about what I am saying. Remember your past masters, and do the right thing.

  9. Listen says:

    You people that making these comments i really don’t think you working for someone. If the government really come down hard on these employers what do you really think is going to happen to the employees?? They wouldn’t have a job you half retaxxs. Some of the companies would go under and some would simple say hey you guys are no longer employees of the company. Some of that same money that they owe social security nhi and inland revenue is the same money they are using to keep you employed and to keep the business going. Some of these businesses are hanging on by a thread. If the win blow to hard they are gone. You bloggers think is only offshore banks and trust companies that are employer’s?? Think again. A lot of us businesses are barely making ends meet but the employees thinking a lot of money is stored up so oh i have to get my severance. When the business do not have the money to pay severance what do you want them to do?? You thinking well i should know that severance has to be paid. Yes i know it should but i do not make enough to put up for that day when you ready to leave.some of these small businesses on this island do you really think that they can pay severance??. Some yes is taking out the taxes and using that same money to keep them afloat so you can get your weekly pay .sometimes the employees performance is so poor but what can we do as business owners?? Change employees every Monday morning?? The employer’s that are doing good i believe most of them are making an effort to make the contributions. So before you take the employer’s head off for your dinner think if the same employer trying to keep his business afloat so you can eat a meal.

    Like 3
    Dislike 16
    • Deh Watcha says:

      Once you put on the business owner cap, people say you rich.

      Only when they put the cap on they realize how it is.

      Like 2
      Dislike 3
    • Hello says:

      Shut your clatter. If they go out of business that will be an opportunity for a well deserving tax paying business. Its unfair for me to be paying $1000’s to Government and the bigger businesses out there getting away with the cheese…

    • Online Now says:

      It’s not your money. You have stolen it from your employees and the Government.

    • Cheese Stands Alone says:

      If you start off wrong you will end up wrong. It’s just like robbing Peter to pay Paul. But you robbing Peter and still not paying Paul but you getting rich and crying on the other hand. Govt needs to make them pay. If they don’t have the business head to be clean and stay in business by all means quit the business.

  10. All bark and no bite says:

    Stupidity knows no boundary with these politicians. These employers collect employees money for the sole purpose of paying NHI, Tax and Social Security but use the money for something else, isn’t that criminal? Kmt why let them off the hook?? Dont you consider the employees Mr Wheatley, when they are sick where can they get assistance If their NHI isn’t paid? I cant I’m done.

  11. Well Muh Boi says:

    The old people used to say that the harbourer is just as bad as the th**f.

    Set of flip floppers. How can this place get any better if we continue to cast a blind eye on wrongdoing instead of addressing the issue head on?

    Watch it, guys. But then again, anything goes in the BVI. Business as usual.

    At the end of the day, our rep******atives are aiding and abetting by allowing employers to get away with stealing from the very people they hire. Downright shameful.

  12. Index says:

    Its amazing how quickly the law got relaxed after knowing that the taxes were not paid and that they needed the fund as he stated “we still need to collect our due.”
    There is a lot of funds collected from permits, immigration, visa fees, NHI, Payee, Social. So don’t be so ignorant about sending they people home when their contribution actual helps the economy.
    Your very Own belongers are sharp in deducting the funds but not paying to the government.
    This should have been checked before making a rule, this is actually an embarassment. I wish you luck with future decisions.

    • Awake says:

      It is an embarrassment. BUT THEY KNEW, the money was not being paid in.. I had a business n if that money was late or incorrect, I was notified. SS KNEW, NHI KNEW, INLAND REV KNEW… that is a lot of THEFT ENABLERS.

  13. hmmmmmmm says:

    How ironic that the Honestly Speaking man that always touts his caring for his people and fairness has nothing to say about this? He will rant all day about the Governor, UK and slavery, but not a word about how people are being treated in this Territory as it relates to their contributions being deducted but not paid in to these agencies, resulting in them being denied their benefits. Isn’t this a form of slavery? The workers held hostage, used, abused with no rights when they have paid their dues?

  14. Mr. Minister says:

    Those businesses took out the various taxes and deductions from our salary please make sure they pay up fast.

  15. Legal action says:

    What is needed.. Somebody to take legal action against one of these employers. It is a legal requirement to pay social security tax and NHI. I personally know someone that the employer hasn’t paid this for him for over 15 years, and this is a belonger, trying to explain that this will severely impact his pension when he comes of age. Take the person to court and make them pay it’, they no longer work for that company so there’s no skin off their nose. Disgusting behaviour by business owners, and it’s nothing more than plain and simple theft .

    • And says:

      The aggravating part is that no doubt some of those same dishonest employers will have the temerity to apply for and be granted stimulus packages to help them during this Covid-19 period when the economy is hurting.

      Some nerve!

  16. Jane says:

    Mr Wheatley says, ” it is not our intention to turn well-meaning business persons into criminals”.

    Let’s be real: any business owing contributions since before March 2020 (Covid-19 lockdown) are not well-meaning, they are criminals.

    Also a well-meaning and responsible business person would have already worked out a payment plan.

    This government’s attempt to further divide and conquer, to blame the expat non-belonger (see the tax on the poor for wire transfer) followed by this burdensome additional bureaucracy which costs each WP holder a further $225 in charges has back fired. Now we all see who is really pillaging this country and it isnt the indentured servants who are told that it is a privilege to be robbed. The WP process is corrupt and unfair. The poorest paid and lowest skilled are those that are most badly treated, not the rich lawyers. These islands have a proud history of standing up for oppression: BVIslanders might one day see a modern-day emancipation, where the expats rise up against them.

    No taxation without representation. A pathway to citizenship now (i.e. 5 years residency only) or you may find the majority of the population (the “non-belonger”) gets restless.

  17. Trouble on the outside says:

    Obviously due diligence was not done. The partners are asking for breaks and you are willing to give it just so. The employees smiles turned into a frown immediately. Where is the justice! This is not a joke….you guys are favoring business over the hardworking people of the British Virgin Islands. Both their health and security benefits are at stake. Many persons I’m sure have had runnings with these same employers. Help the people that’s what you all are there for. Even if HOA business are part of this problem fix it. You will be extremely appreciated for making it happen bringing our island back one step closer as nature little secret.

  18. Expatriate says:

    CRONYISM AT ITS HIGHEST

  19. Nationalist says:

    Government a protect them friends long before the hurricanes this going on.
    Prove to the people who put you on that pedestal that your serious bvi need the jobs more than ever get tough on these employers

  20. All eyez on you! says:

    Go ahead Vincent! What sweet in goat mouth sour in his bottom! You all seem to forget that WE put you all there to protect our interests. Instead, you’ve all done far worse than previous administrations. We see you and will keep you in mind in a couple years!!

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