Categorized | National News

New Tax Exemptions

In keeping with its commitment to assist Bahamians and business owners alike by reducing and eliminating some of the taxes placed on a variety of items, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest revealed those proposed tax exemptions by the government during yesterday’s 2017/2018 Budget Communication.

Mr. Turnquest however noted that the extent to which this is possible is severely constrained because of the grave fiscal position his government has inherited.

This means then that the implementation of other tax relief commitments – as outlined in the manifesto – must be deferred until measures have been put in place for a more sustainable fiscal structure that leads to the elimination of deficit financing and a lower burden debt.

However, immediate measures are as follows he said.

“We are reducing the rate of business licence tax from 1.5 per cent to 1.25 per cent of turnover and, for hotels with turnover exceeding $400 million, from 1.25 per cent to 1 per cent of turnover.  The latter to follow through on a commitment of the previous administration to Brookfield, the owners of Atlantis; this arrangement also calls for further reduction in their business licence fee in the next year and reductions in duty on salmon and shrimp,” he said.

“We are extending the City of Nassau Revitalization Act for a further year, to June 30, 2018 and we are extending the Family Island Development Encouragement Act for a further year, to June 30, 2018.”

Further tax relief measures will be granted within certain constraints.

“We are eliminating or reducing import duties on a number of food and beverage products, including milk, yogurt and ice cream, bread, cakes, pastries and chips, salmon fillet, shrimp and prawns, pastas and pizza sauce, fruit drinks, canned or preserved vegetables, jams, fruit jellies and marmalades and fruit or nut purees, mixtures of fruits and nuts, and soy sauce,” he said.

“We are eliminating or reducing import duties on a number of personal care and other personal products, as well as household items, including shampoo, hair products, soap, toilet tissue, low-flow shower heads, sunglasses, exercise and gym equipment, clothes hangers, shoe parts, water heater parts, sound and video equipment parts, microphones, massage apparatus, fans and air purifiers, toys, primary cell batteries, lead acid accumulators batteries, rodenticides and insecticides, and tires and inner tubes and paints.”

The import duty would also be eliminated on a number of building materials.

“We are eliminating or reducing import duties on a number of building materials, including sheets of veneers, wood flooring of various materials,” Mr. Turnquest said.

“Wooden forms for concrete pouring, wooden posts and beams, asphalt shingles, durock and cement panel boards and other cement panels and sheets.”

The minister said electric motorcycles will also be reduced from 65 per cent to 25 per cent.

Additionally, duty exemption will be applied on equipment and machinery specifically designed for ground repair, maintenance and service of cruise ships and sea vessels that conduct domestic and international travel.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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