The tax year is the calendar year. Tax is assessed during a tax year on income earned during the year of assessment, which is generally the calendar year preceding the tax year. Companies with an accounting year other than a calendar year may, however, be allowed to account for taxes by adopting their accounting year as their income year.
Tax returns must be filed by 30 April of the tax year.
Payment of tax
Corporate tax is payable in advance quarterly instalments on the preceding year's tax liability. Advance tax payments are due on 15 March, 15 June, 15 September, and 15 December of the calendar year prior to the tax year. However, the Commissioner General may require the company to calculate the payments based on estimated income for the current year.
Any balance of tax due must be paid by 30 April of the tax year.
Failure to file a tax return and pay the balance due by 30 April of the tax year incurs a further charge of 10% on the outstanding tax. Failure to pay the balance of taxes due by 30 April of the tax year incurs a penalty of 2% per month and interest at 18% per annum. A flat fee of GYD 50,000 will be applied to each loss/deficit return submitted after the prescribed time.
Tax audit process
Companies are generally selected at random for audits, and the frequency is usually every three years. Companies are generally required to provide financial information and supporting documentation to the tax personnel.
The tax authority is the Guyana Revenue Authority.
Statute of limitations
A company carrying on business in Guyana is required to keep proper accounts and records and is required to retain these accounts for a period of at least eight years after the completion of the transactions, acts, or operations to which they relate.
The Commissioner is empowered to raise an assessment for tax or additional tax within seven years after the expiration of the year of assessment.
Topics of focus for tax authorities
The following issues are currently being focused on by the tax authorities:
- Tax evasion and corruption.
- Strengthening tax administration.
- Creation of tax policies and forecasting analysis capability.
- Business registrations and compliance.
- Oil and gas international financial reporting standards (IFRS).
- Computer assisted audit tools.
- International taxation.