Recovery Strengthening In Turks And Caicos
by Amanda Banks, Lowtax.net, London
18 May, 2015
The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) has posted an operating surplus of USD77.3m for the financial year ending March 31, 2015, with strong growth in tourism activity.
The TCI Government announced on May 13 that there was a 16 percent increase in recurrent revenues in 2014/15 to USD246.5m, a year which saw record visitor numbers to the islands. Improved tax collection by the customs department and the Revenue Control Unit also contributed to the increase in tax revenues.
According to the Government, import duty was the single largest source of government income, accounting for USD61.6m, followed by hotel and tourism tax, which contributed USD51.8m to the public purse. Customs Processing Fees generated an additional USD28.6m, Stamp Duty USD25.8m, work permits and residency fees USD17.6m, and fuel tax USD8.6m.
Expenditure, at USD161.9m, was seven percent below the projected spend for the year. As a result of this underspend, USD6m has been carried over to the new financial year to be spent mainly on infrastructure projects.
The TCI is in discussions with a number of financial institutions as it prepares to refinance a UK-guaranteed USD170m bond when it matures in February 2016. The Government said that it will use the USD110m already held in reserve, plus an additional sum from the current year's budget, to repay most of the bond, with the balance being covered by new debt or a bond issue.
The loan followed the British Government's intervention in the TCI in 2009 following reports of "systemic corruption." Following the UK's intervention, the islands' tax and regulatory regime was overhauled, but plans to introduce a value-added tax were ditched.
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