Govt. tax credit and deferral program extended

Govt. tax credit and deferral program extended
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First phase saved jobs of 7,000 Bahamians, says Inland Revenue 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Department of Inland Revenue has announced a second phase of its Tax Deferral and Tax Exemption program.

The initial phase of the program ended on June 30.

It was designed for businesses with turnovers in excess of $3 million dollars, and had a staff complement of at least 25 employees.

The second phase will expand to all qualifying VAT-registered businesses with a turnover in excess of $100,000.

In a statement yesterday, the department revealed that up to July 20, the program had granted $18 million dollars of non-reimbursable tax credits and deferred taxes combined.

It furthered that this initiative resulted in the retention of more than 7,000 Bahamian employees.

“Businesses were able to withhold VAT due or outstanding business license taxes between April and June, to assist with meeting payroll expenses as a result of this program,” the statement read.

“Given the continued uncertainty and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has launched phase two of this program, extending and expanding it to all qualifying VAT-registered businesses with a turnover in excess of $100K (as opposed to the current $3 million floor).

“This will also include hotels in an effort to provide payroll support, encourage employee retention and thus eliminate the need for further layoffs. Businesses [which] may have received assistance under phase one may also benefit from phase two and are also encouraged to apply.”

The statement continued: “It is important to note that approved tax relief will be based on the staff complement of businesses and there are certain categories of businesses that will not be eligible to receive assistance under this programme including: food stores and food wholesalers, pharmacies and related wholesalers, gaming houses, banks and financial entities, insurance companies, regulated telecommunications sector.”

Gaynell Rolle, Acting Controller of Inland Revenue, said: “We want to assist as many businesses as we possibly can to retain as many of their employees that they are able to, and encourage them to apply online at http://atlas.revenue.gov.bs.”