ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Customers conducting business at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) can now enjoy the comforts of a new edifice, a move Project Manager of Revenue Reform Administration Everette Christian said comes with improved ambiance and customer services.
More than two years after a decision was taken to move the IRD to the $8.5 million building, the relocation from Newgate Street to the Friars Hill location finally took place over the weekend.
Boasting of the new digs, Christian said the new Woods Mall office, fully functioning since yesterday, encourages proper procedures. In addition, security measures have been stepped up.
“One big difference some taxpayers would recognise is that previously at Newgate Street office they were able to walk through the entire office. Now that will not be the case – beyond a certain area taxpayers will not be able to go unless they have an appointment or they are being escorted by a staff member or security,” Christian said in an OBSERVER AM interview.
The IRD now includes the Taxpayers Services Department and according to Christian, at any time there will be at least three persons willing to assist with forms, queries and concerns.
“We will also be able to access information on taxpayers more readily. Not immediately because that is a work in progress where we have to get all the information into our database, so we anticipate that within the three to four months, the taxpayers should see a mass improvement in our ability to access information concerning them regardless of the type of account,” he added.
Christian noted that the move could bring the additional staffing the IRD requires.
“Our new premises would allow us to comfortably accommodate the existing staff without them sitting on one another and will also cater for growth so that immediately we will be able to look at recruiting the additional auditors and persons in the arrears, collection and enforcement unit as well as the late filing and non-filing unit,” he said.
The project manager said some interviews for new staff have been completed, however, the former Newgate Street location could not accommodate additional staffing.