The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) continues to showcase its improved collection abilities as revenues amassed for the first half of 2019 amounted to $109B. This represents an 8.3% increase over the same period last year.
According to the government, arrears accounted for $2.8B of that amount. The Guyana Standard understands that these collections represented 94% of total revenue collected, up from 92.2% in the same period of 2018. While taxes collection increased, it was found that non-tax revenue collections decreased by $1.7B, or 19.4%, as a result of lower transfers from statutory bodies.
Furthermore, in the first half of 2019, personal income tax collections grew by $2B, or 16.4%, when compared with the same period in 2018.
This news agency understands that companies operating in the oil and gas sector accounted for $1.2B, or 61%, of the collections. The other entities contributing to the increased collections were mining companies, public institutions, and telecommunications companies. Additionally, the number of employers making payments rose by 6.3% or 120 employers during the first half of 2019, in comparison to the same period in 2018. As for Arrears payments, these were $0.2B for PAYE and $0.6B for individual income taxes.
With regard to Customs and trade tax collections, these grew by $0.7B, to $10.6B during the first half of 2019, when compared with the same period in 2018. Import duties accounted for 98.1% of the increased collections. This news agency understands that this was due to the increased collection of duties from commodity imports, especially lubricating oils and petroleum bitumen. There was also growth in the environmental levy by $78.5M, or 8.8%, above the period January to June 2018.
As for Value-added tax (VAT) collections, the government said that this increased by $2.1B to $24.8B from January to June 2019, when compared with the same period in 2018.