Section 39 of the Tax Act, Chapter 80:01 provides that professional persons practicing for a reward in any year are required by law to be the holder of a Practice Certificate.
“Professional” is defined as a person who is a member of a professional body and holds the designated qualification of that body.
The First Schedule of the Tax Act, Chapter 80:01 provides that Legal Practitioners, Medical Practitioners, Dentists, Physiotherapists, Veterinary Surgeons, Engineers, Accountants, Auditors, Surveyors, Architects, Pharmacists, and Optometrists, who are engaged in private practice for reward, are required to have a tax practice certificate.
Notwithstanding the above, Section 39 (3) states that there are two (2) categories of professionals who are exempt from applying for a Practice Certificate:
(1) Professionals who are employed by the state and are in no way engaged in private practise for reward.
However, professionals who are employed by the state or other business organizations and who practise privately for reward are required to apply for a Practice Certificate.
(2) Professionals who practise their profession in the course of them being wholly employed in the service of another whose undertaking or business does not comprise the rendering of service of the nature of such practise.
Hence, a medical doctor solely employed by a Mining Company, or an Accountant solely employed by an Engineering Firm, or an Attorney-at-Law employed solely by an Insurance Firm is exempt from applying for a Tax Practice certificate.
Further, Subsection 9(b) of Section 39 of the Tax Act Chapter 80:01 a professional is required to display the Practice Certificate in a very conspicuous manner at his/her place of practise, so it can be seen by persons using the services, since failure to do so is an offence.
Moreover, Subsection 9(a) of Section 37 of the Tax Act, Chapter 80:01 provides that it is an offence for a professional to practise his/her profession privately for reward without a Certificate.
The annual fee for January 1 of every year is payable on or before February 28 of the same year.
In 2003, changes were made to the fiscal Amendment and Accountability Act and fees for various categories of professionals increased from ten thousand dollars ($10,000):
- Category A Professionals - $250,000 ( Accountants, Auditors, Legal Practitioners, Medical Practitioners, Architects, Dentists and Optometrists)
- Category B Professionals - $150,000 (Engineers and Veterinary Surgeons.)
- Category C Professionals - $75,000 (Physiotherapists, Pharmacists and Surveyors.)
Notwithstanding the above, legal action by the Guyana Medical Association, Guyana Bar Association and Guyana Dental Association does not permit the GRA to collect the increased amount from those persons, as such; they will continue to pay ten thousand dollars ($10,000), until the issue is determined by the courts.
Kindly note that, professionals who qualified within three years preceding the date of the application for the practice certificate is permitted to pay $25, 000 and shall hereafter be liable to pay the full prescribed fee.
All applicants must uplift and complete an Application Form from the Compliance Section, 200-201 Camp Street, Georgetown or any Regional Branch Office.
If you require additional information or assistance on taxes administered by GRA, feel free to contact the Communication and Tax Advisory Services Division, situated at 200-201 Camp Street, Gerogetown or call 227-6060 extensions 1201-1204.