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Bahamas Releases 2014-15 Budget

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
08 June, 2015

The Bahamas Budget for this year includes a cut to the residential property tax and plans to introduce a national insurance system from 2016.

The residential property tax rate will be lowered by 0.125 percent to 0.625 percent. Taxpayers who are 65 and over will get a further reduction, benefiting from a new 0.3125 percent rate.

A National Health Insurance system is to be introduced from January 1, 2016. The Government has yet to provide detail on the plans but has said it will not require new taxes or fees at this time.

The Government reported in the Budget that it had reduced the fiscal deficit by BSD342m (USD342m) since 2012/13, a reduction of 63.5 percent. The territory's new VAT regime, introduced at the start of the year, has generated revenues worth more than BSD120m so far.

Recently the territory's Value Added Tax Department also released new guidance on VAT payment. It said personal and business checks will not be accepted. Only manager's checks will be accepted. VAT Registrants can also pay VAT using the Online Tax Administration System (OTAS) or via online banking, or over the counter at most banks. Walk-in or mail-in payments will not be accepted, it said.

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