Saint Lucia
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Businesses Called to Settle Outstanding Tax Payments by May 1, 2024

Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre, this week, announced government’s decision to waive interest, fines and penalties on Value Added Tax (VAT) deductions owed to government, noting that these and outstanding VAT payments presently exceed XCD 100 million.

Businesses must settle their outstanding tax payments no later than May 1, 2024 to become eligible for amnesty, the prime minister said. Pierre this week confirmed that government is looking at laws as it relates to payments of VAT.

According to him, “there ought to be penalties, fines and interest…” for individuals “who collected VAT and did not give it back to government.”

“Government is saying we are going to waive all these penalties, fines and interests,” Pierre said.

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Locally, businesses are required to remit VAT charges on products and services to government. If they fail to do such, they can attract fines and penalties.

Said Pierre: “Government is looking at laws as they relate to payments of VAT, income tax, etc., particularly when the money has been… taken either from the employee … or from the purchaser.”

He said that government is “looking into these laws because it cannot be fair that if money is taken for a purpose it’s not given to fulfill the purpose that it was taken (for).”

Pierre revealed his decision following consultation with government’s fiscal policy makers.

“That is the dual approach which this government is taking…  we’re saying we’re going to help the consumer by removing VAT on selected building materials. We’re saying to merchants that (the) consumer is getting a break, we’re also giving you a break,” said Pierre.

“You owed the government because VAT was added to the cost of the goods and it ought to be given back; it wasn’t given. We’re saying to you all the penalties, all the fines, forget it and pay us what you collected,” he added.