All companies undertaking business in Guyana are required to pay corporation taxes for each calendar year unless exempt by the Government. Tax returns must be filed by 30th April of each year. It is important to note that petroleum companies that are exporting petroleum in Guyana operate under a separate tax regime from other companies. The tax exemptions for respective companies are stated in their respective PSCs.
Resident and non-resident companies are subject to different tax regimes.
- A resident company is a company, the control and management of whose business are exercised in Guyana while a non-resident company is the opposite.* The place where the company is to be regarded as controlled is the place where the mind and management of the company is ordinarily situated.**
*Section 2 Corporation Tax Act
**Section 2(4) Corporation Tax Act
- A resident company is subject to corporation tax on all its profits* while a non-resident company is subject to corporation tax chargeable on any income directly or indirectly derived from Guyana**.
*Section 5(1) Corporation Tax Act
**Section 5(2) Corporation Tax Act
Section 2 of the Income Tax Act provides that “resident in Guyana” when applied to an individual means an individual who:
(a) Resides permanently or, being in Guyana, intends to reside permanently in Guyana except for such temporary absences as to the Commissioner- General may seem reasonable and not inconsistent with the claim of such individual to be resident in Guyana; or
(b) resides in Guyana for more than 183 days in the year;
Section 2 of the Income Tax Act provides that “resident in Guyana” when applied to an body of persons means anybody of persons the control and management of whose business are exercised in Guyana.
Withholding tax is levied and paid by every person on payments made to any non-resident company for any contract or undertaking by the non-resident company.* Contracts include subcontracts, the supply of goods and services or any undertaking of work for reward.** The withholding tax rate is normally 20% but may vary depending on whether there is a Double Taxation Treaty.
*Section 10B Corporation Tax Act
**Section 10B(8) Corporation Tax Act
Double Taxation Treaty:
Guyana currently has treaties with the following countries:
– Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) member states
– United Kingdom.
Corporate tax rates are 45% of the chargeable profits for telephone companies, 40% of the chargeable profits of a commercial company and
30% of the chargeable profits of any other company.* A commercial company is a company where at least 75% of its gross income is derived from trading goods not manufactured by it.**
*Section 10 Corporation Tax Act
**Section 2 Corporation Tax Act
Commercial companies are subject to a 2% minimum corporation tax if it is higher than the 40% tax on chargeable profits, and excess minimum corporation tax is set off against corporation tax payable in the future, on the basis that no year tax is below 2% turnover.***
***Section 10A Corporation Tax Act
Other taxes that corporations are subject to in Guyana are valued added tax at the rate of 14% on certain goods and services, customs duties at a rate of 5-150% based on the item, excise taxes on select items, property taxes, capital gains taxes on properties owned less than 25 years, pay as you earn (PAYE) and national insurance scheme contributions. The law also outlines penalties for failure to file tax returns or pay taxes.