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Saint Vincent To Hike VAT Rate

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
14 February, 2017

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines's 2017 Budget includes an increase to the value-added tax (VAT) rate and measures to counter stamp duty avoidance.

The territory's Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, said a one percent disaster levy will be imposed from May 1, 2017, by increasing the standard rate of VAT from 15 percent to 16 percent, and the rate for accommodation and other tourism related activities from 10 percent to 11 percent. Gonsalves said the measure would be reviewed in three years.

Other VAT changes include an increase to the registration threshold to XCD300,000 (USD111,111), with effect from May 1, 2017; a decrease in the VAT rate on berth rentals in any marina or shipyard from 16 percent to 11 percent; and the removal of VAT on biodegradable packaging and food containers.

To address various stamp duty mitigation strategies, the Stamp Act will be amended to make it clear that duty is payable on all conveyances or re-conveyances to a third party.

A number of fees and charges will be increased including the Aliens' Landholding Licence charge imposed on the sale of property to non-nationals; and the Airport Service Charge, which increased on February 15, 2017, to XCD100 (USD37) for passengers departing Saint Vincent and the Grenadines by aircraft.

The annual licence fee payable by persons in prescribed professions will be increased by 20 percent. There will also be a crackdown on tax evasion by professionals.

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