Categorized | National News

VAT Will Increase Market Access, Says Pinder

Financial Services Minister Ryan Pinder said yesterday Bahamians will have greater market access and trade when Value Added Tax (VAT) is implemented later this year.

The government is preparing to table VAT legislation which is expected to be implemented on July 1.

The government has indicated that VAT will be at a rate of 15 per cent.

Mr. Pinder said that the implementation of VAT along with The Bahamas’ accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will greatly improve the country’s market and trade access.

“The VAT legislation will help us stimulate greater market access and greater trade,” he said. “Duty rates on goods are going to proportionally decrease so the cost of goods shouldn’t be an inflationary aspect. Value Added Tax is intended to reach services rather than have a measurable effect on goods.”

Mr. Pinder also assured that the implementation of VAT will bring about transparency as he noted that it would be in the best interest of companies to comply and file claims accurately.

“Every company will have to file a return with the government in order to claim that credit and if that company doesn’t file the claim they will end it up paying too much VAT which will be harmful to their business. So it’s almost a self enforcing mechanism to keep the integrity within the companies that have to report. It’s a small segment of the commercial base – those over $100,000 in turnover.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie said on Monday that the objective of VAT is to have a system that provides adequate revenue for modern governance while providing economic growth, transparency and efficiency.

The prime minister also noted that the government has commissioned a final study on the issue.

Mr. Christie has also indicated that economists from both New Zealand and the United States will be coming to The Bahamas to advise the government.

The government expects to raise an additional $200 million in revenue through VAT.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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