Small Business Owners Encouraged to Register as Self-Employed Persons at Social Security
Mrs Kimmoy Braithwaite of the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, addressing the Community Business Series meeting at the McKnight Community Centre. To her right are Mr Quinn Martin and Mr Yanik Martin of ECCB’s DCash.
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (MMS-SKN) — Small business entrepreneurs have been advised that, unlike individuals who are employed and whose Social Security payments are made by their employers, they need to register and join the Self-Employed Coverage scheme at the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board and make their contributions directly.
“The Self Employed Coverage became active in July of 1996, where persons who could have come to Social Security and say, I have a little business and I want to pay something for myself”, explained Inspector, Compliance Department at St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, Mrs Kimmoy Braithwaite.
The Social Security Inspector, who was addressing the Small Business Development Centre’s Community Business Series meeting at McKnight Community Centre on Thursday, November 30, explained that for persons in employment, it is the responsibility of their employers to take out their contributions and pay to Social Security.
“As a self-employed person, the power is in your hands and it is your responsibility to make sure that at age 62 you can get a pension,” noted Mrs Braithwaite. “If you are sick you can get a benefit because the doctor recommended you stay home, say for one month. If you have a baby you can get a benefit for three months. The responsibility is no longer on the employer, the responsibility is on you.”
She however clarified that at Social Security, a self-employed person is anyone who is living and working or has their own business within the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, advising that one cannot be living overseas and decide to call and say they want to register as a self-employed person.
“Once you contribute, you must benefit,” assured the Inspector, Compliance Department, at St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board.
The Community Business Series meeting at McKnight Community Centre was organised by the Small Business Development Centre of the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and was the last in the series for this year. The meetings were held under the theme ‘Building Businesses – Fueling Innovation’.
The first meeting was held in July at the Newtown Community Centre, followed by Keys Community Centre (August), Old Road Community Centre (September), St. Paul’s Community Centre (October), and Sandy Point Primary School (November).
Chairing the meeting was Senior Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Centre, Mr Delwayne Delaney. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ms Delrine Taylor, and Director of the Small Business Development Centre, Mr Philip Browne, also made presentations at the meeting.
Assistant Comptroller for Public Relations at the Inland Revenue Department, Ms Eliza Mills, updated the meeting on a new development, the Smart Modernised Administration for Revenue and Taxation System (SMARTS), which will be launched in January next year. It is aimed at upgrading the Department’s on-going commitment to delivering a more efficient and user-friendly tax experience for all stakeholders.
“SMARTS is purposely designed to simplify and enhance the entire tax process, ensuring it is more intelligent, and efficient,” explained Ms Mills. “We encourage all taxpayers to take note of this impending change and stay tuned for updates in the media. Whether you are an individual taxpayer, a business owner, or a corporate entity, SMARTS, E-Government Portal will revolutionise the way you manage your tax obligations.”
Other presenters were from DCash, the digital version of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Lead of Customer and Business Acquisition, Mr Quinn Martin, and Support Officer, Mr Yanik Martin. From the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis were Assistant Manager, Business Relations and Support Unit, Ms Natasha Sutton, and Ms Lavern Jackson of the same Unit.