Hope Town District Council Chief Councillor Jeremy Sweeting signed the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Hope Town District Council allowing the local office to collect tax revenue. The local tax office is set to open June 1. The office will be located on the western end of the Library building in Hope Town.
There is a great proverb about trees and planning for the future that goes “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” There are not so many great proverbs detailing the benefits of short-sighted cash-grabs, empty promises or political tricks.
The Bahamas Government unleashed its consumer-based tax – Value Added Tax (VAT) – at a rate of 7.5 percent on January 1, 2015. Since that time, a number of business owners and consumers have expressed that the implementation of VAT is burdensome to the Bahamian people.
On Jan 31 the Abaco Chamber of Commerce hosted the Abaco community to a meeting to discuss the upcoming Value Added Tax (VAT). It was held 7:30 pm at the Grace Gym in Marsh Harbour. The meeting was led by Chamber president, Dennis Lightbourne. This particular meeting was one of several that have been, and will be, organized by The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) and the Coalition for Responsible Taxation.
During the Vision Empowerment VAT Seminar at Change Ministries Minister of State for Finance, Michael Halkitis spoke to a room of about 150 persons concerning the proposed Value Added Tax (VAT) due to be implemented on July 1, 2014 and answered questions from the audience.
On Jan 17 the Abaco Chamber of Commerce hosted a US based Certified Public Accountant to discuss the new FACTA taxes and taxation regarding dual citizens (Bahamian/U.S.A) living in Abaco. The CPA, Scott Williams, is a long-time visitor to Abaco. Over 120 people came to the meeting, which was held at the Anglican Hall.
The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce Employers Confederation (BCCEC) through their Coalition for Responsible Taxation made a presentation on alternatives to Value Added Tax (VAT) at Change Ministry’s Vision Empowerment Seminar on January 18.
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:-
Many Abaconians hold two passports: a Bahamian passport and an American passport. This is because they were either born in the United States or one of their parents was American. Many of these people do not realize that when they begin earning money they are required by US law to submit a tax form to a tax office in the States. This does not mean that they have to pay income tax, only that they have to file a report. However, many do not realize this requirement.
Bahamas Financial Secretary John Rolle made a presentation explaining Value Added Tax (VAT), which is due to be implemented July 1, 2014, to a group of Abaconians during the Abaco Business Outlook held at the Abaco Beach Resort on September 25. Mr. Rolle explained that the VAT is a replacement tax that rebalances Government revenue without introducing any new taxes on the Bahamian people. He said it would lower the average rates of customs duties and excise taxes by imposing the 15 percent VAT on these goods and a range of services. He said that new revenues from services will offset reduced customs revenue and generate additional net revenue.