Persons tendering dishonoured cheques can be jailed, blacklisted – GRA warns

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has cautioned the general public that taxpayers and their representatives making payments to the GRA by dishonoured cheques may be subjected to prosecution under the Criminal Law (Offences Act) Chapter 8:01.
In a statement issued on Friday, the GRA said those found guilty in a court of law in respect to the above situation may be subjected to imprisonment. This warning is necessary, it said, in view of the increasingly prevalent practice of persons uttering dishonoured cheques to the GRA.
“Taxpayers are also advised that, notwithstanding the penalty outlined above, associated interest and penalties continue to accrue from the due date of the payment until the liability is settled in full”.
Consequently, the Authority advises that “entities making payments to GRA by cheque must ensure that the information detailed thereon is accurate, and that sufficient funds are available in their respective bank accounts to process such payments.”
The Authority has cautioned that persons making payments to the GRA by cheques that are dishonoured due to insufficient funds would be blacklisted, and not be allowed to make payments by personal cheques for a minimum period of six months in the first instance, twelve months in the second instance, and permanently thereafter. Payments effected by such defaulters must thereafter be by cash if less than two million dollars (in keeping with AML regulations), or by Manager’s drafts for any amount.
Such defaulting taxpayers would be required to make all future payments by either Manager’s cheque or by cash, depending on the amount. Taxpayers are reminded that GRA will not accept cash payments exceeding two million dollars, as a result of security concerns for both the Agency and the general public.
“The Authority again entreats taxpayers to take advantage of the convenient and secure electronic payment options available through MMG, Bill Express, and any of the bill payment facilities at Demerara Bank, Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry, and Republic Bank,” the GRA has penned.
A cheque falls under the dishonoured category when a payee cannot successfully deposit the payer’s cheque. A payer is the one who issues a cheque to the payee. The payee deposits this cheque in the bank. If the bank refuses to pay the amount mentioned on the cheque, the cheque is dishonoured.