It was American Statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin, who in 1789, said “but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Franklin was correct.

In the United States, there is an ingrained economic expectation, an unquestioned certainty that, individuals and companies will pay their taxes. And they will do so happily. It’s the proud American way.

In the Bahamas, not so much. That gung-ho, pay your fair share, to the government attitude never quite caught on, despite the close proximity The Bahamas has with the United States.

Undoubtedly, it was the luxury of being a tax haven, with no direct income tax which has spoiled the Bahamian since, well, forever.

So, it must be asked, what happens when Bahamian laissez faire meets tough talking American ideology at the crossroads of direct taxation?

Well, a federal lien is what happens.

The United States vs. Roland T. Symonette

In 1935, the United States of America knew very well that Roland T. Symonette was a Member of the Assembly. He was an up and coming politician, and an established businessmen. From 1928, the US government had been trying to get Symonette to pay taxes on monies earned in the States.

By October 1935, in the federal tax lien filed, the US charged Symonette with a laundry list of charges and penalties including an alleged attempt to evade.

(Miami Daily News, Friday October 4, 1935)

(Tampa Tribune, Saturday October 5, 1935)