Categorized | Business, National News

BCC Launch VAT Educational Taskforce

The countdown is on to the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) and as the government continues with its educational campaign, the private sector is also chiming in to lend a helping hand.

On Monday, The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce (BCC) formally introduced the private sector’s VAT educational taskforce.
BCC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Edison Summer explained that the taskforce will host educational seminars and provide regular feedback to the Ministry of Finance.

“The taskforce will function autonomously; the taskforce will remain in place through the end of June 2015, also provide advice on implementation refinements to the VAT framework once some experience has been gained with the administration of the tax,” he said.

“The general responsibilities of the private sector taskforce are to act as a non-partisan tax payer and consumer advocate body, to listen to and understand the concerns of the public and provide regular feedback to the government for appropriate action.”

He added that the taskforce will also sponsor educational campaigns to ensure that businesses are fully prepared to transition to this new tax system.

Members of the task force, Vice President of Finance at Doctor’s Hospital Jasmine Davis and president of Nassau Glass Andrew Rogers both emphasized that time is of the essence and they are excited to get the ball rolling.

“Make use of the taskforce and the educational opportunities that would be provided in the coming months, we know that the time line is tight , however we are going to do out very best to ensure that accurate information is disseminated to all persons as it relates to VAT,” Ms. Davis said.

“It is understood that the bill is by nowhere absolutely addressing all of the issues that have come after the consultative period and after it went through parliament but the Ministry of Finance along with the VAT unit intend to address these matters in the VAT rules, so that the VAT rules will provide further clarity for anything that has not been addressed at this time but has come up as a sectorial dispute or just an overall accounting issue in the VAT rules. We encourage the general public to ensure that they make use of this valuable opportunity in any of the educational forums that are going to be put on to ensure that they are clear on whatever issues so that the VAT rules can seek to address those.”

“I’m personally confident that VAT is going to be positive for the country, nobody likes to pay taxes we’re not different than any other country,” Mr. Rodgers said.

It’s necessary for the funds to run the country, again I appeal to the business sector, we have a lot coming quickly, we’re going to try to educate everyone.”

President of Fidelity Bank Gregory Bethel is also a member of that taskforce.

Meantime, Mr. Sumner did not provided an official day as to when the educational forums would start, however he assured that it will begin as early as next week.

VAT will be introduced at a rate of 7.5 per cent in January.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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