by Linda Straker
- Professional licences due to be paid by 7 January
- Fees vary from EC$150 to as high as EC$20,000
All professionals offering services that need to first be licenced by government are being urged to obtain the licence for the year 2019 on or before 7 January.
“The Inland Revenue Division (IRD), wishes to notify all registered; Accountants, Auditors, Engineers, Architects, Real Estate Agents, and other professionals, together with Liquor dealers, Refreshment House operators, of their legal obligations with respect to the payment of Licences, under the Licences Act Cap 172,” said a news release from the Communications Unit in the Ministry of Finance.
Explaining that all required persons are obligated to pay their annual licence fee on or before 7 January 2019, the release said that licence holders who are not up-to-date with their licence fees should contact or come into the Inland Revenue Division and speak to a Collections Officer to make the necessary arrangements to regularise their status, before 7 January 2019.
Approximately 45 professions need to receive an annual licence from the IRD, failure to which can result in penalties as provided for in licensing legislation.
“A person liable to take out a licence under this Act who neglects to do so in the manner prescribed by this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of $500, and where at the time of conviction he or she had not paid for or taken out the required licence he or she shall also pay into court, in addition to such fine, a sum equal to the fee payable for the licence neglected to be taken out; and upon payment of such licence fee the magistrate shall notify the Permanent Secretary thereof as soon as practicable thereafter.”
Licensing fees vary according to the profession, but it can be as low as EC$150 and as high as EC$20,000.
In the latter part of 2018, government cracked down on a number of professions and service operations who failed to obtain a licence to operate during 2018.
According to data from the Ministry of Finance, government collected EC$1,190,878 in other licensing fees which cover professionals and services in 2018. The projection was EC$1,155,474. The 2019 projection is EC$1,246,746.