Web Bosses Told: Pay What You Owe

DEPUTY Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Peter Turnquest.


Deputy Chief Reporter


FINANCE Minister K Peter Turnquest yesterday urged web shop operators to pay their taxes out of an obligation to the government regardless of beliefs or legal arguments they intend to mount.

As a result of some operators failing to pay the taxes, Mr Turnquest said the government is about $5m down from its projections. “There has been some delay in collections,” Mr Turnquest said yesterday in response to questions from the media outside Cabinet. We continue to work with the gaming industry to have them accept [and] agree that the negotiated position arrived at is fair to all concerned and that they ought to now meet their commitment.

“There are two of the gaming houses – one that is completely compliant the other is partially compliant and there are some that are not compliant.

“We encourage all of them regardless of what you think, regardless of any legal challenge that may be out there that you intend to mount, that you have an obligation to the state to pay your taxes.

“My part and my job is to collect the government taxes that is due and I certainly would encourage them to.”

He did not name the web shops.

Their failure, he said, has had some implications, but finance officials remain hopeful they’ll meet the deficit target.

“Any reduction or failure to collect taxes that are due that have been budgeted is going to cause some affect. We’ve seen that.

“There is no denying that there is going to be short fall in budgeted revenue from gaming, but again the good news is we’ve been able to manage our expenditure side. So we’re still hopefully expectant that we will meet our deficit target.”

Late last month, Attorney General Carl Bethel warned web shop industry’s tax hold-outs they are on “very shaky ground” in failing to comply with the settlement agreed with the government.

He told Tribune Business that the Minnis administration had strong legal arguments against the position being taken by Wayne Munroe QC and his three web shop clients - Island Game, Paradise Game and Asure Win.

Two of these operators are understood to have only paid taxes due for July 2018, while the other and Craig Flowers’ FML Group of Companies have yet to pay anything at all for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Mr Bethel has also accused Mr Munroe of “playing games”, with the attorney general’s efforts to reach his QC counterpart before and during the Easter weekend proving fruitless as the latter was off-island.

Disclosing that “nothing as yet” has been resolved between the government and industry hold-outs, Mr Bethel told this newspaper previously: “I called Mr Munroe. He said he was off the island and saw the missed calls, but never called back. I’ll give him a call.”

Tribune Business has further confirmed that Mr Munroe and his clients are opposing the retroactive payment of taxes for the 2018-2019 fiscal year’s first half under the old rate structure.


Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

The corrupt web shop bosses got a $25 million tax break from Minnis, Turnquest and D'Aguilar, yet they refuse to pay their remaining taxes owed. These racketeering thugs prefer spitting in the eye of government rather than paying their taxes. And government nevertheless continues to treat the numbers bosses with kid gloves because of the extent to which these thugs have bought and continue to buy the political influence they now wield over the Bahamian people. If you or I didn't pay our taxes, we would be subject to all kinds of sanctions and penalties of one or another, eventually leading to criminal prosecution. And you or I are without the means to take government to court if we don't like paying increased VAT or any other taxes and fees levied against us.

These criminal numbers bosses are showing all of us Bahamians who is really running our country today, and its certainly not the officials voters elected back in May 2017. Our useless attorney-general, Carl Bethel, is infested with so many fleas that he finds he must go with cup in hand to the numbers bosses to beg them to pay the taxes they owe, and this is after the Minnis-led FNM government has already given them a huge $25 million tax break.

Meanwhile, we have our public healthcare system and our public education system severely starved of funds they so desperately need. Something is horribly wrong here and Minnis knows it, but he is either unwilling or unable to do a thing about it. More and more it seems we have a powerless PM because he and his party have so comprised themselves by accepting the lion's share of their campaign financing and 'other contributions' from the super wealthy few in our society, including those linked to known criminal elements like the racketeering numbers bosses. Our democracy is consistently sold to the very wealthy few in the run up to each general election, and therefore our vote is now truly worthless. It's now the super wealthy few who govern us and not our elected officials. It no longer matters which political party holds the majority of seats in parliament.


Sickened 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Why pay if there is no penalty for not paying? Its not like their licenses are going to be revoked until taxes are paid.


geostorm 9 months, 2 weeks ago

@sickened AGREED! Not sure why KP Turnquest is still talking. Stop talking and act. Collect the delinquent funds already!


OriginalBey 9 months, 2 weeks ago

You cannot have your cake and eat it too. They are building the case for the national lottery.


Well_mudda_take_sic 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Where is the legislation Minnis promised for serious election campaign finance reform? It's desperately needed!


hrysippus 9 months, 2 weeks ago

we need a National lottery. The webshop owner who paid his taxes gets to have the franchise to sell the tickets. Bring in foreigners to run it though.


TalRussell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Makes no sense, none at all that Comrade AG Carl Wilshire, be's so openly accommodating the Numbers Houses operators act mischiefs of faction business community, who otherwise would never likewise be allowed publicly humiliate Colony of Out Islands AG and Finance Minister, yes, no...... all the whilst millions and millions dollars go unpaid by mischiefs of faction - whilst Imperial red shirts cabinet -so boldly threatens withhold bodies from all whose families who will become too financially strapped pay new $700 fee required obtain release loved-ones body from PMH morgue, yes, true?


bogart 9 months, 2 weeks ago

DA........ GUBBERMINT.......FULLY...KNOWS.....DA TRAJECTORY.........LEGALLY DA WEB SHOPS ....CAN DANCE....WID DA GUBBERMINT...ALL DA WAY TO DA PRIVY.....AN BACK.....AN AGAIN....AN AGAIN....mind you dese politicians and majority of the nation did vote against the legalizing of the Web shops.......an now to the detriment of da people......same politicians now in power likes dancing.....tra..lala...la...la...la deres a brown girl in da ring..,


bahamianson 9 months, 2 weeks ago

National Lottery ! I will vote yes! I voted no for " Numbers".


DDK 9 months, 2 weeks ago

CLOSE THEM ALL DOWN. IMPLEMENT NATIONAL LOTTERY. DON'T BE SO LAZY! The economy will improve and a bite will be taken out of crime.


bogart 9 months, 2 weeks ago

SOMEWHERE EARLIER.....THE GUBBERMINT ...RECOGNISES....THE SIGNIFICANT EYE POPPING.....CASH....PASSING THROUGH THE GAMBLING OPERATIONS.......ANOYHER RECOGNITION OF THE MONOPOLISTIC PPWERS....TO ENGAGE IN SECTORS OF DA ECONOMY.........dis operations net result extracts....huge cash profits...ploughed back into other businesses.....expotential growth....NETRESULT.....businesses can dominate....JUST A SHORT TIME AWAY.....its simply BUSINESS.....DEY HAV TO GROW.....even dey cannot stop slow dere growth......dey is only a amount of owning yachts....planes...mansions..cars....destroying national free market demand supply thousands businesses...competition....dey are all alpha business people and next generation....they will all be in business for PROFITS...natural...from the UNDEMOCRATIC ..CITIZENS VOTING NO TO IT..INCL THEN OPPOSITION AN NOW PRESENT GOVT....LARGEST AMOUNT OF SEATS...MAJORITY....AN KNOWS WHAT IS HAPPENING......!!!!!!!!!...Either for all close them down...OR beg them....or urge them..to... PLEASE TO PAY THEIR TAXES....OR....Gave them SENATE SEAT.s..to imput their indisputable influences an monopolistic control businesses......


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