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Bahamas Announces COVID-19 Tax Reliefs

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
15 April, 2020

The Bahamas Department of Inland Revenue has announced a Tax Credit and Tax Deferral Employment Retention Programme, which will benefit businesses with an annual turnover of BSD3m (USD3m) or more and a minimum of 25 non-executive employees.

Under the program, eligible businesses can receive up to BSD200,000 in relief per month, with half of the approved sum being in the form of a non-reimbursable tax credit and the other being an interest-free tax deferral. Tax would be due on the amount deferred in twelve monthly instalments beginning from January 21, 2021.

Businesses will be allowed a partial credit and a partial deferral of either business license fees or value-added tax, during the months of April, May, and June 2020, provided such funds are used to retain at least 80 percent of their workforce. Subject to conditions, the credit may be carried forward to reduce VAT liability in future periods.

To be eligible, enterprises would be required to:

  • Be in good standing in VAT or business license (BL) fee payments as at February 2020 (not including BL due for the current 2020 cycle);
  • Have annual sales of BSD3m or more;
  • Have a minimum of 25 employees;
  • Commit to retaining 80 percent of staff levels as at February 29, 2020, levels, through to October 31, 2020;
  • Make an application on the prescribed form concession;
  • Commit to the utilization of tax credits solely for purposes of covering non-executive payroll.

This concession is not available to businesses in the following sectors:

  • Hotel and resorts;
  • Retail or wholesale grocery food establishments;
  • Regulated telecommunications providers;
  • Regulated financial and insurance businesses; and
  • Gaming services providers.

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