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St Kitts And Nevis To Undergo Comprehensive Tax Reform Review

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

17 October 2007


St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas has announced that comprehensive tax reform and continued attention to the jurisdiction's anti-money laundering laws will be a priority for the government in the medium term.

Addressing the recent National Consultation on the Economy, Douglas explained that the need for tax reform will arise in the context of regionalisation.

“We are making every effort to ensure that we carry out an extensive review of our tax system in order to ensure that government revenues remain adequate to provide the services which our citizens expect and demand,” he told the 300 people attending the conference.

The Prime Minister revealed that the government expects to conduct a review of the country's tax system, which will, among other things, evaluate the feasibility of introducing a transaction-based tax such as VAT, and examine how the current tax system can be streamlined. This review will be undertaken with the assistance of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC), he explained. "This will also include an intense education and information-sharing campaign,” added Douglas.

The Prime Minister told the conference that the government has been complying with new financial market requirements since the September 11 attacks, despite the high cost of implementing these for a small nation like St Kitts & Nevis.

"This has been very costly for us as a small economy putting systems in place to assure the international community that we have measures in place to combat money laundering and terrorist financing,” he revealed.

St Kitts & Nevis is due to undergo an Anti-Money Laundering review by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, Douglas disclosed.

He also used the occasion to urge all citizens, in particular service providers and those engaged in the provision of banking and other financial services “to ensure that they continue to adhere to the regulations and procedures that we have put in place in our jurisdiction in order to ensure that the assessment results are positive for our country”.


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