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Gov. John deJongh Jr. offers News Years wishes, and thanks to the people of the Virgin Islands for the honor of electing him to serve as their governor.

 
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BIR Publishes Names of Nearly 1,200 Delinquent Taxpayers

A total of 1,198 V.I. businesses owe money for past hotel occupancy and gross receipts taxes, according to a list published Tuesday by the V.I. Internal Revenue Bureau (BIR).

The list (links provided below) includes 34 businesses that owe the 8 percent hotel occupancy tax and 1,164 that owe the 4 percent gross receipts tax. One dates as far back as 1996, but there are others from the late 1990s. The newest ones date to 2010.

The list of names only includes the years and the type of taxes owed, not the amounts.

BIR Director Claudette Watson-Anderson said those delinquent businesses owe the V.I. government somewhere between $35 million and $40 million.

“We would like them to pay as soon as possible,” she said.

She said the penalties are included in the amount owed.

Watson-Anderson said that any business that believes it has paid either the hotel occupancy tax or the gross receipts tax should come into the BIR office with proof of payment so they can resolve the matter.

The list has gotten a bit shorter since the threat of publishing the business names first was made because owners have paid up, Watson-Anderson said.

She doesn’t know why the businesses on the list haven’t paid.

“There are various reasons. I’m not sure you can pigeonhole it,” she said.

BIR is publishing the list because the Legislature mandated it in the Economic Stability Act passed in June. The accounts are at least six months past due. The law allows the publishing of those delinquent on their excise taxes, but there are none on the list.

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Unfortunately, they also mistakenly have published names of businesses in good standing but for one reason or another, BIR records are not up to date.