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BCCEC News in April 2024: No recent complaints about DIR's business license renewal portal, says Chamber

Published by Youri Kemp, The Nassau Guardian, April 10th, 2024

The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) said that there haven’t been any recent complaints from businesses about the Department of Inland Revenue’s (DIR) business license renewal portal.

BCCEC Chairman Timothy Ingraham told Guardian Business that he checked with the BCCEC’s offices yesterday afternoon to find out if there were any outstanding complaints about businesses not being able to use the portal, and was informed that there were no more complaints.

“We had one member who reported that they went in and paid, and the money wasn’t showing up. The DIR is assisting them with tracking it down. There was another minor issue that we assisted a member with working with the DIR, and I think they have gotten the issue resolved now.

“So prior to that, there were some people still reporting issues, not being able to get on the portal, and not being able to reach anyone in DIR. But certainly, since the deadline [for business license renewals], we’ve not heard from any of our members with any specific issues.”

The Ministry of Finance sent businesses into a panic in January when it changed the business license renewal portal, which many businesses saw as confusing and burdensome. Businesses did not understand how to file their returns, and menu options were not clear and direct on the portal, causing many businesses to ask for an extension to the deadline for business license renewals, which was granted up to April. This was in addition to the simultaneous deadline to have certified audited financials for companies grossing up to $5 million in by the end of this month.

Noting some businesses have asked for an additional extension to the end of April, Ingraham said that the DIR informed him that this will be on a “case by case” basis and will not be a blanket extension as the BCCEC had requested. “My understanding was that they would deal with any requests for extensions on a case-by-case basis, so we haven’t seen anything from the DIR. As far as a blanket extension, we haven’t heard from any of our members expressing any concern about that. So obviously, if members come in and say they have an issue, then we will liaise with the DIR.

Ingraham also said: “We did express wishes for an extension, but the DIR did not seem prepared to consider that. We requested that and BICA [Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants] requested that, but there didn’t seem to be any movement from the DIR.”

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