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Bahamas to increase VAT to 12% by July 1
By Bahamas Information Services
May 31, 2018 - 11:19:30 PM

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The Commonwealth of the Bahamas 2018/19 Budget Communication implementing the Government’s Policy Agenda and securing core fiscal objectives was presented to the House of Assembly in Nassau, New Providence by the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, M.P. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on Wednesday, 30th May 2018 2018/19 Budget Communication:

“Specifically, we are increasing the taxation of gaming house activities through the introduction of a sliding scale of rates applied to taxable revenue, namely: up to $20 million, a rate of 20 per cent; between $20 million and $40 million, a rate of 25 per cent; between $40 million and $60 million, a rate of 30 per cent; between $60 million and $80 million, a rate of 35 per cent; between $80 million and $100 million, a rate of 40 per cent; and over $100 million, a rate of 50 per cent,” said Deputy Prime Minister Turnquest.

The DPM said there will also be the taxation of gaming patrons through a five percent stamp tax to be levied on both deposits made by patrons at the gaming houses and any non-online games/digital sales.

He said there will also be an increase in the various Immigration fees; introduction of new port fees; the Real Property Tax on foreign-owned vacant land to 2 percent of value, up from 1.5 percent; licensing fees on large commercial vehicles by $50 for Class B and Class C vehicles; and increases to police record fees, fingerprinting fees for casino employees, and Labour Certificate fees.

DPM Turnquest said, “Most substantially, the government is proposing an increase in the rate of Value Added Tax from the current 7.5 percent to 12 percent effective July 1st.”

“Our government fully appreciates the sacrifice that the substantial increases in the VAT rate and other taxes will represent for our citizens.

“But as I have repeatedly said on record: this government was elected to do what is right for the welfare of the country and not to do what is politically expedient or politically popular.”

“Facing the situation that we have, we could do as governments have done before – and simply present a misleading budget with under-budgeted allocations and hidden obligations. We could have kicked the can down the road and borrowed some more – delaying the inevitable day of reckoning.

“By playing this game we would have only made a bad situation worse. The country’s bond rating is at junk status.”

Full budget Budget Communication 2018/2019 attached...

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