‘Further talks on collaboration as part of the restructuring Tax Office’
Philipsburg – Minister of Finance Perry Geerlings received Nichalin Martina, Director of Belastingdienst Caribisch Nederland (B/CN) at the Ministry of Finance. The visit was initiated to discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist for St. Maarten as it undergoes the process of revamping its Tax Administration.
Since 10-10-10, B/CN has made substantial progress in upgrading and restructuring its Tax Administration and can therefore be a vital partner in helping the St. Maarten Tax Office with its planned improvements. A team from B/CN’s Tax Office recently completed a quick scan of the Tax Office on St. Maarten as part of the process to improve its functionality. Amongst the plans for improving the services of the Tax Office on St. Maarten, is making more procedures electronic and reducing the need for clients to visit the Tax Department.
During their meeting, Minister Geerlings and Martina focused on B/CN’s Tax Office model that includes the Customs Department. According to Minister Geerlings the information provided by Drs. Martina further strengthens his position that the Customs Department would be a valuable asset in the improvement of tax collection if it would fall under the administrative responsibility of the Ministry of Finance.
A key point brought forward during the meeting was Martina’s report on the benefits of the Customs Department where it pertains to improving the accuracy and efficiency of data collection. Minister Geerlings re-emphasised his vision to provide his ministry and the Tax department with the means to receive an accurate accounting of what comes into the Country and said this is essential if we are to improve the efficiency in our tax collection and producing more accurate budgets.
Both Director Martina of B/CN and Minister Geerlings have agreed that Bonaire and St. Maarten’s Tax Office will broaden their collaboration to include an exchange program for personnel which is geared towards providing them with a unique opportunity to cultivate professional relationships and to further promote the sharing of ideas on enhancing the service level and the knowledge of the Tax Department on St. Maarten.