Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 04, 2018 (SKNIS): The tradition of annual discounted VAT Rate Day in St. Kitts and Nevis will continue in 2018. This was announced today, October 04, by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during his monthly press conference.
“We have given early notice of the Reduced VAT Days to accommodate the logistics relating to the sourcing or products from abroad and other imperatives of getting ready for VAT Day. So we have come early. We have given fully three months in advance and in fact, as far back as April we did signal to the business community in our private meetings that yes there will be a VAT Day,” he stated. “So we have put them in a better state of readiness to make the necessary preparations.”
Prime Minister Harris noted that businesses and the general public on a whole are given more than enough time to prepare and should act accordingly to take advantage of the Reduced VAT Day.He added that two VAT Days were suggested and noted that Cabinet will make a decision during its next meeting.
“We have been asked to consider two Reduced VAT Days in 2018 to allow greater opportunity for consumers to patronize more businesses in particular, the smaller business outlets. We were advised that on VAT Days people go to the TDC’s and Horsford’s and other larger entities and some of the smaller ones and by the time the day is done they basically get ignored and so the Cabinet will deliberate on this matter on Monday at its regular meeting,” said Prime Minister Harris.
He added that after Cabinet meets, Financial Secretary, Hillary Hazel, will work with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC) to implement Cabinet’s decision.
Dr. Harris said that the concessions on the Reduced VAT Days will be the same as they were in 2017.
“That is, participating businesses will be allowed to charge VAT at a rate of 5 percent instead of the usual 17 percent on the sale of goods. Additionally, no VAT will be charged on the first EC$50,000 of the cost of a vehicle. VAT of 17 percent will, however, be apply on values above the EC$50, 000,” he said. “As is customary for VAT Days, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes are not eligible for concessions that will be granted on the Reduced VAT Day and that of course is for health consideration. And especially in the context now where Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are the largest casual factor of deaths in the Caribbean, we have to be careful that those matters do not get out of hand, and public policy must not encourage their use.”