(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Martha Bohlale Rakuoane, a student of the Helena J. Robinson High School, Turks and Caicos Islands, won the US$1,000 first prize of the Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators (COTA) Essay Competition 2014.
Jessica Ramnauth of Brickdam Secondary School, Guyana, was awarded US$750 for placing second, while Justin-Timothy Frater of Cornwall College, Jamaica, won the US$500 third prize.
The schools which the winners attend will also receive a laptop computer each. The prizes for the competition were jointly provided by COTA and the Caribbean Association of Banks Inc.
The competition was held from April to July 2014. Seventeen students from across the Region entered the competition. They were required to write an essay on the topic `The tax code is a road map for law-abiding citizens and businesses to pay what they legally owe, not an obstacle course to be gamed and gotten around’.
The entries were examined by an independent evaluator selected by the Executive Council of COTA. The Evaluator noted that the essays showed evidence of being well researched with good argumentation and understanding of the distinction between tax evasion and tax avoidance.
As the Community grapples with the challenges of higher demands on a dwindling public purse, it is hoped that today’s teenagers - the potential future taxpayers – will obtain an increasing understanding of their civic duty through COTA’s public education programmes. There is also the expectation that among the youths, an interest could be engendered in the field of tax administration as a career choice.
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