BAIC preps farmers and artisans for new VAT regime

BAIC preps farmers and artisans for new VAT regime

Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) Thursday held its first ever value-added tax (VAT) compliance workshop for farmers and artisans to prepare themselves for the upcoming rise in taxes come July 1.

The interactive demonstration which was conducted at its headquarters on Old Trail Road, showed participants how to complete the VAT return forms; registering a business; how to apply for a tax identification number (TIN) and the knowledge of the online tax administration system.

BAIC’s Executive Chairman and Member of Parliament (MP) for Golden Gates Michael Foulkes told Eyewitness News that the workshop is “very timely”.

“In some ways, it could not be timelier,” Foulkes said.

“I refer to this as a ‘new era’, starting Sunday.”

Foulkes explained that there are two separate categories Inland Revenue collects from, and stressed that business owners have a choice of how they register their business, for exemption purposes.

“… There is mandatory and non-mandatory. If your business makes more than $100,000 in sales or revenue on an annual basis, you must have a VAT certificate. It is mandatory,” he explained.

“If you make less than $100,000 annually, then you do not have to file. It is not mandatory.”

“… The reality is, just listening to some of the questions earlier, a lot of our small businesses – our entrepreneurs and even some middle-sized businesses – still don’t fully appreciate what involves VAT.

“We know that it has been very onerous for our small businesses.”

Foulkes told Eyewitness News that BAIC plans to facilitate another VAT compliance workshop, as the first was oversubscribed.