By Staff writer, MyVue News.com,
Basseterre, 21st October, 2020, (MyVue News.com)- Christmas shoppers and local business establishments in St. Kitts & Nevis, will this year, have to make do with just one VAT Reduction Day, compared to the two they have enjoyed in recent years.
The change in government policy has been influenced by the financial losses suffered by the public sector, due to the negative fallout occasioned by the Coronavirus, since economic activity was curtailed, starting in late March, when the virus first visited the country.
As the Federal Government continues its exercise to prepare for the 2021 Budget, Minister of Finance and Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, announced on Tuesday, 20th October, that it was after much consideration that his administration had to take the tough decision to scale back, on what has become an annual tax break for the festive season.
He said that on the given day, as is the norm, the VAT payable on goods will be at 5 percent.
This, he added, is a special day on which the VAT rate is discounted and it covers a range of items.
All tangible items currently subject to 17% VAT, will qualify for the discount on “VAT Day.
However, there is an important provision, that states that eligible items must also be available for sale and immediate issuance or delivery to the customer on Discounted VAT Rate Day.
Orders for items that are not in stock will not qualify, explained the Minister of Finance.
Those persons hoping to use the opportunity to buy vehicles, should note that the VAT is exempt on the first $50,000.00, but thereafter, the standard 17% will be charged.
Harris also disclosed that further discussions will be held with the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce to finalize the logistics for this year’s VAT Day, including the definitive day when it will be held.
In addition, Harris said citizens and residents can expect some of the usual concessions on certain purchases during the Christmas/Carnival season.
He said The Cabinet on Monday, 19th October, 2020, agreed to assist persons in having a better December than it would have otherwise been, and that is why the usual concessions on imports into the country are now available for the upcoming December season.
In recent years, packages of foodstuff were allowed free of duty and taxes for the first 400 pounds.
Gift packages and the passenger allowance up to a threshold valued at USD$200 were also allowed free of duty and taxes.
Main photo: Shoppers taking advantage of the VAT Day in previous year.