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VAT Unit: We are on course

VAT Unit: We are on course



Members of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Implementation Unit have indicated that they will be ready for the introduction of the system on May 1.

Harold Lewis, a senior member of the unit said that efforts are intensifying with the registration of businesses, and that the education process for both the consumer and the goods and services providers is continuing.{{more}}

Lewis noted that although some business places are already on board, others still need to be registered and have until February 28 to do so. Application forms can be handed in to the Unit’s headquarters at the M. Moussa Building on Grenville Street in Kingstown, or the Inland Revenue Office.

Besides registration, the unit is requesting that companies comply with the other processes of VAT for the system to run smoothly; these include the displaying of their registration certificate, keeping proper records and submitting returns on time. Failing to do so could eventually lead to severe penalties.

The implementation unit was not only set up to assist businesses and service providers; apart from advising registrants on their rights and obligations, one of their duties is also to inform the public.

The unit warns that at the initial stages of VAT implementation, consumers may see an increase in prices on some commodities. This may be because of the consumption tax that has already been charged to the stock, but in most cases and eventually, prices are expected to remain the same or even drop.

Prices of services that were not subjected to consumption tax will go up slightly with the introduction of VAT.

Consumers are also asked to look for registration certificates at business places, collect their receipts, and know that the prices quoted on products should include VAT.

The unit is stressing that everyone should be very aware, because ready or not the Value Added Tax is coming, and it can only be successfully implemented if consumers and proprietors alike are fully educated and comply with its guidelines.

They are continuing the education process through radio and television programs, visits to business places and communities and on the government website.

Zero Rated and Exempt Supplies

From the consumer’s point of view, there is no difference between zero rated and exempt supplies as the consumer will not have to pay VAT in either case.

However, for the supplier, there is an important difference. With exempt supplies, no input tax credit can be claimed, whereas for zero rated supplies, input tax credit can be claimed.