The Tax System In Guyana: An Exploratory Study
The payment of taxes seems to be something difficult to do because of all the attempts to establish a relationship between taxes and benefits received by taxpayers have failed failed.
However, this study attempts to provide an exploratory study of the tax system in Guyana which includes the system before January 01, 2007 and the Value Added Tax system (VAT) presently employed in Guyana.
A Brief History of Taxation
Throughout the history of mankind, taxation is a phenomena/policy which has evolved over time. In the old testament around 500 B.C. in 2Chronicles, Chapter24:1-10 when Joash became king of Judah, he ordered the Priests and Levites to go to the cities of Judah and collect from all the people enough money in taxes to repair the temple. In contemporary times, the policy of taxation began in the colony of British Guiana as early as 1838, the year of the post emancipation and in the end of apprenticeship in 1834 when Africans were set free and were required to pay taxes on their income earned. In June of that year, the half yearly license fee of hucksters was raised from twenty-five guilders to forty guilders. At the same time the fee for firearm license was also increased and was accompanied by increased prices for license for boats, canoes, carts and mules. Also a license for one to be employed as a partner became necessary. It is appropriate to note that the increased taxes were placed on those activities in which slaves had functioned before and were likely to become involved in once they were legally free men.
While such measures were allegedly taken for purposes of collecting revenue for administration of the colony, the fact that the increases were attached to likely Black occupations does indicate that another reason for their introduction at the time was to discourage the ex-slaves from participating in such activities.
SOURCES OF GOVERNMENT REVENUE: TAXATION