The British Virgin Island's International Tax Authority has not been able to recruit people to its ranks, despite receiving over 600 tax information requests per year.
ITA has only been able to fill 13 of the 35 positions it announced as vacant last year, according to its director Latoya James. Since 2010, requests for tax information have skyrocketed and led to the agency being understaffed and outgrowing its space.
Due in part to new tax information exchange agreements and the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, an international treaty that came into force in the VI in 2014, the ITA receives more than 600 tax information requests per year.
The authority is responsible for responding to tax information requests from foreign revenue-collection authorities. It lost several staff members in 2017 and has been unable to replace them due to "certain issues," according to local news outlet BVI Beacon.
At the time, she reported a staff of 10, with an additional 35 positions that needed filling. Currently the entire agency has a worforce of only 23.
The agency is still trying to fill positions, James told the Standing Finance Committee in November in response to a question from Health and Social Development Minister Carvin Malone, according to a report on the SFC proceedings.