GRA suspends processing drivers, vehicle licences; pushes back tax payments to curb COVID-19 spread

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 16:48 by Writer

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Wednesday announced that it would not be renewing or issuing first-time drivers and conductor licences and motor vehicle registrations until April 30.

The tax collection agency also announced that the payment of corporate and individual advance taxes and income taxes for businesses has been deferred until June 30.

The GRA said measures to reduce the influx or large gathering of taxpayers, while maintaining key functions of the Licence Revenue Operations, will include temporary suspension of the processing of the renewal of unexpired drivers licences, new drivers dicences, provisional drivers licences and conductor licences until April 30.

GRA Commissioner-General, Godfrey Statia has already written Police Commissioner, Leslie James informing him that “in an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19, and the fact that over 800 persons visit the GRA’s headquarters in relation to licensing functions, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) will be implementing several measures with effect from Monday, March 30, 2020.”

According to the GRA, priority will be given to the processing of transactions for the renewal of expired drivers licences and duplicates for lost or damaged drivers licences. GRA said the Motor Vehicle Transfers Unit would be temporarily suspending the processing of updates on Motor Vehicles Registrations until April 30, 2020. These transactions include duplicate registration, change of colour, change of intended use, change of engine, and change of seating capacity. GRA says priority will be given to the processing of Transfer of Motor Vehicle Registrations.

Mr Statia told the Police Commissioner that in light of the circumstances, he does not want the police to charge anyone for unlicensed vehicles or driving without a valid licence.

“In this regard, I have requested the Mr. Wayne Austin, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Licensing Officer to contact your Traffic Chief Mr. Linden Isles to work out the necessary modalities so the GRA/GPF can make a joint statement to this effect, and with Guyana Police Force taking no enforcement action on unlicenced motor vehicles and persons whose Drivers Licences will be expired during this period,” the GRA Commissioner-General told the Police Commissioner.

The Guyana Revenue Authority will continue to work in collaboration with the Guyana Police Force to ensure a smooth implementation of these measures.

For the processing of new motor vehicle registrations, GRA says the auto dealers will be advised to lodge applications in bulk rather than individually.

The Motor Vehicle Examination Unit will suspend off-premises examination of motor vehicles until April 14th. Examination of motor vehicles will be conducted only at Smyth Street, the GRA added.

The Liquor Trade and Miscellaneous Licencing Unit will not be visiting business premises until April 30.