The Abaco Chamber of Commerce has been quite active recently and involved with several major issues facing The Bahamas and Abaco.
VAT proposed by Bahamas’ government
The Abaco Chamber of Commerce has joined the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s newly formed Coalition for Responsible Taxation. The Coalition is comprised of some 20 civic and business organizations representing over 800 businesses that collectively employ more than 60,000 persons. The Coalition’s Mission Statement reads as follows:-
“The objective of the BCCEC Coalition for Responsible Taxation is to understand and examine what implications proposed tax legislation will have on the macro economic climate of The Bahamas as well as to identify what specific tax concerns each sector of our industry has and how best to address these concerns within the private sector or through Government dialogue. It is the BCCEC Coalition’s intent to be solution driven and to encourage proactive, cooperative, collaborative and actionable dialogue between the Government and the private sector. It is our intent to advise the private sector and to make recommendations to the Government on means to implement, train, fund, educate and market responsible tax laws and regulations”.
President of the Abaco Chamber of Commerce, Dennis Lightbourn, attends and participates in the Coalition meetings in Nassau and continues to advise the Chamber’s Board on its latest developments.
The Government has stated that it will implement VAT on July 1st, 2014. The Abaco Chamber of Commerce will hold a public workshop not only on VAT but on alternatives and the wider fiscal reforms that are needed as information becomes available. Stay tuned.
US Tax requirements for those holding dual citizenship
The Abaco Chamber is concerned that many Abaconians having dual citizenship are unaware that they must file a report to a US tax office annually. Recently the US began requiring banks in many countries around the world including The Bahamas to provide it with details of bank accounts and other financial institutions that US citizens sign on. The Chamber is working to bring someone to Abaco to inform these Bahamians on the U.S. requirements on its citizens to adhere to U.S. tax requirements. An article in the November 15th issue of The Abaconian summarized some of the details. This does not necessarily mean that these people owe any money, just that they must file a report to a tax office. There is time for persons holding dual citizenship to comply before any penalties are imposed.
Chamber Directors Kathy and Dave Ralph are organizing this event and they can be contacted at 367-2677.