Over the years, tax collections have accounted for a large part government’s revenue collection and 2021 was no different. According to Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, taxes accounts for 96 percent of total current revenue collections which amounted to $255.1 billion, reflecting a growth of 16.8 percent over 2020.
In providing a breakdown of the collections, he said internal revenue collections increased by $20.1 billion or 17.8 percent above 2020.
The economist said this was driven largely by higher collections of personal income tax (PAYE), private sector corporation taxes, and withholding taxes.
Guyana Standard understands that the increase in personal income tax of $8.2 billion was driven by higher remittances by employers in both the public and private sectors.
Dr. Singh said collections of private sector corporation taxes grew by $6.9 billion or 22.6 percent, due to higher payments by companies within the retail trade, telecommunications, and manufacturing of beverages sectors, among others.
He was keen to note that Withholding taxes grew by $4.8 billion, largely on account of collections from the oil and gas sector.
Value-Added Tax (VAT) and excise tax collections he said increased by $10.9 billion or 13.1 percent.
As for excise tax collections, he said this grew by $12.5 billion, above the $33.9 billion in 2020 as a result of higher tax collections from the importation of motor vehicles and petroleum products.
The Minister of Finance further noted that collections from the importation of motor vehicles grew by $6.7 billion above 2020, reflective of the budget measure in 2020 that removed the eight-year restriction on imported vehicles.
On the downside, the minister said collections from VAT (net of refunds) totalled $48.4 billion, $1.5 billion below the level in 2020. He said this was primarily attributed to the zero-rating of several previously standard rated goods and services, the cap on freight charges used to calculate taxes on import, as well as more timely payment of VAT refunds by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
With respect to Customs and trade tax collections, the Minister said these were $27 billion, a $5.7 billion increase above its 2020 level, resulting from higher collections of import duties of $5.1 billion from goods imported within the wholesale food, beverages and tobacco category and retail sales of hardware, paints, glass, automotive fuel, household appliances and furniture, all reflecting the resumption of economic activity and growth in disposable incomes.
As for non-tax revenues, he said this totalled $10.7 billion, $1.3 billion above 2020, mainly on account of the higher transfers from statutory bodies and profits from the Bank of Guyana.


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