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Thousands take advantage of reduced VAT in St Kitts

December 20, 2015

Thousands of shoppers swarmed businesses in St Kitts and Nevis yesterday as buyers and sellers met to take advantage of a one-day reduction in value added tax. President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC), Damion Hobson, said from all accounts the country seemed set to have a successful VAT Reduction Day as the day got off to an excellent start with people flocking to stores in long lines even before they were opened at 5 a.m. According to the Chamber president, the VAT Reduction Day helps to stimulate the economy. He was of the view that it “reduces the drain on imports fuelled by large overseas purchases in time for the busy Christmas/Carnival Season.” The December 18th VAT Reduced Day is a part of the Government of National Unity’s agenda of re-calibration of the economy. Businesses werre open past normal opening hours. VAT reduction day allowed all VAT registered businesses to charge VAT at the rate of five per cent on the sale of goods only. Some items were not eligible such as alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. Persons buying vehicles got an exemption of VAT on the first $75 000 and any cost in excess of the $75 000 attracted the standard 17 per cent VAT. The Team Unity Administration took the initiative to remove VAT from food, medicines and funeral expenses in April of 2015, a mere two months after taking office and fulfilling one of its major promises to the electorate. Hobson said that the Chamber was pleased with the measure taken by the Government as it brought relief to people in the Federation.