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BIR Cla...

BIR Clarifies Bounced Check Concerns Raised by Department of Finance

  • Nelcia Charlemagne
  • June 22, 2024

The V.I. Department of Finance’s recent assertion that Virgin Islanders have racked up over $2 million in bounced cheques made out to the government turns out to be based on a lapse in communications between the department and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, according to BIR Director Joel Lee.‌ Mr. Lee appeared before the Committee on Budget, Appropriations and Finance on Friday. Upon being questioned by committee members, he indicated that the Bureau had already collected $900,000 of the $1.7 million in bounced checks finance officials had attributed to BIR. Based on his team’s research, Mr. Lee explained that “only about $200,000 is actually bounced insufficient funds.”‌ According to Mr. Lee, the issue arises when the bank rejects large checks “because the signatures are not quite right based on their signature card.” When BIR reaches out to those taxpayers, they are many times already aware of the issue. “They know if it bounces, that bill is still there. We can go after it by any...