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Barbados Hikes Taxes In New Budget

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

05 June 2017

Barbados's Minister of Finance has announced tax increase in his 2017 Budget, including to the National Social Responsibility Levy and gasoline excise duties, and a two percent commission on foreign exchange transactions.

Effective July 1, 2017, the NSRL rate will rise from two percent to 10 percent. The NSRL was introduced in September last year. It is imposed on goods imported into Barbados and domestically manufactured goods.

A new broad-based foreign exchange commission will be charged from July 1, 2017, on all sales of foreign currency at a rate of two percent. This will extend to all wire transfers, credit card transactions, and over the counter sales of foreign currencies.

From June 1, 2017, the excise tax on gasoline will rise by a third to BBD0.99 cents (USD0.50 cents) per liter, and more than double on diesel to BBD0.44 cents (USD0.22 cents) per liter.

The current tax amnesty for unpaid land tax and value added tax (VAT) will be extended. The extended amnesty period will run from June 1, 2017, until November 30, 2017, with the same rules as under the last amnesty.

A new VAT factoring program will be designed to address the backlog on VAT refunds owed to many businesses across Barbados.

The tax policy reform and tax administration upgrade project will be completed, including the final transition of the customs administration into the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA). A single taxpayer IT system will also be implemented.

The Budget also announced the establishment of a special task force unit within the BRA, working in collaboration with a competent private sector tax firm, to establish a national tax administration registration initiative. This is aimed at ensuring that all taxpayers required to register are brought within the tax net.

TAGS: artisans | tax | business | value added tax (VAT) | budget | goods and services tax (GST) | professionals | currency | trade | Barbados | services | VAT refunds

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