Categorized | National News

No VAT On Breadbasket Items

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest revealed during his presentation of the 2018/2019 Budget, that Value Added Tax (VAT) will be eliminated on breadbasket items, a “commitment to Bahamians”. 

“As for measures that that we are implementing to meet our commitments to Bahamians and provide tax relief to individuals and businesses: effective August 1, we are eliminating VAT on all breadbasket items, with the exception of sugar,” Mr. Turnquest said. 

With there being much talk about changing up breadbasket items, Mr. Turnquest listed several items that will no longer have VAT attached to it. 

Items that VAT will be eliminated on include items such as butter, cooking oil, mayonnaise, grits, cheese, corned beef, margarine, rice, flour, bread, condensed milk, soap, fresh milk, tomato paste, soup broths, mustard, and baby food. 

“We are eliminating duties on a number of food products, including: whole salmon; frozen fish fillets; bread spreads; potato products; tofu; and prepared and preserved tomatoes,” Mr. Turnquest said.

Mr. Turnquest added that VAT will also be eliminated from a number other items, including elimination of VAT on medicines and residential property insurance. 

“We are eliminating duties on solar kits upon application to the Ministry of Finance,” he said.

Further, the DPM said that VAT will be waived on residential electrical bills at or under $100 and water bills at or under $50

“For electricity customers, this would impact over 30,000 BPL households alone.  For water customers, this would impact some 43,000 Water & Sewerage customers.   

“This waiver will be applicable to all licensed utilities in the country,” Mr. Turnquest said. 

Mr. Turnquest further revealed that customs exemptions will be increased from $300 to $500.

As foreshadowed, Immigration fees will increase as well as port, police record and fingerprinting fees for casino employees.

Labour certificate fees as well as real property tax on foreign owned vacant land will increase from 1.5 per cent to two per cent, while licensing fees on large commercial vehicles by $50 for class b and class c vehicles.

The government is implementing various concessions in respect of Real property Tax, Customs duties, Excise duties, Business License fees and Stamp Tax in favour of designated Economic Empowerment Zones, beginning with the “over the hill community.

Mr. Turnquest said, “ we are  providing duty-free entry for goods for use in the commercial printing industry, as well as for processing and garment manufacturing equipment without the need to apply for specific concessions as before; we are extending for  5 years the first-time homeowners Stamp tax exemption;  we are extending for two years the duty exemption on materials used for the renovation, repair and upgrade of dilapidated buildings.

The  Minister said, “ we are reducing duties on floor tiles and fabric softener; we are extending the duty exemption to  church buses 8 years old or less from the current limitation that limits the concession to buses that are 3 years old or less.

“We are providing an exemption from Business License fees for all schools that are registered with the Ministry of Education; and  we are eliminating the duty on airplanes and helicopters in an effort to build an Airplane Registry Industry within the country,” said Mr. Turnquest.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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