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Bahamas Budget Communication 2018/19 Presented

On 30 May 2018, the Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest, presented the 2018/19 Budget Communication to parliament. The main revenue tax measures include:

  • An increase in the taxation of gaming house activities through the introduction of a sliding scale of rates applied to taxable revenue, namely:
    • up to BSD 20 million, a rate of 20%;
    • between BSD 20 million and BSD 40 million, a rate of 25%;
    • between BSD 40 million and BSD 60 million, a rate of 30%;
    • between BSD 60 million and BSD 80 million, a rate of 35%;
    • between BSD 80 million and BSD 100 million, a rate of 40%; and
    • over BSD 100 million, a rate of 50%;
  • An increase in the taxation of gaming patrons through a 5% stamp tax to be levied on both deposits made by patrons at the gaming houses and any non-online games/digital sales;
  • An increase in the Real Property Tax on foreign-owned vacant land from 1.5% to 2.0%; and
  • An increase in the value added tax (VAT) rate from 7.5% to 12% effective 1 July 2018.

The Budget also includes a number of measures to provide tax relief, especially for individuals. This includes:

  • The elimination of VAT on "breadbasket items" from 1 August 2018, with the exception of sugar, which will be removed from the list of breadbasket items (includes butter, cooking oil, rice, flour, bread, etc.);
  • The elimination of VAT on medicines;
  • The elimination of VAT on residential property insurance;
  • The waiving of VAT on electricity and water bills below BSD 100 and BSD 50, respectively (bills above those amounts will be subject to VAT normally);
  • The waiving of duty on clothing and shoe imports upon application by importers and retailers;
  • Duty-free entry for goods for use in the commercial printing industry, as well as for processing and garment manufacturing equipment;
  • The replacement of VAT on real estate with a simple stamp tax at a rate of 2.5% on transaction values up to BSD 100,000 and 10% on values exceeding BSD 100,000; and
  • Several others.

Click the following link for the Budget webpage for additional information.

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