Government announces dates for ABST-free weekends

Two consecutive weekends — from 12am to 11:59pm on December 10 and 11, as well as December 18 and 19 — are the dates for this year when the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) will be reduced from 15 percent to five percent.

The Inland Revenue Department released the information on Thursday and noted that business participation is voluntary. This means that a store owner has the right to choose whether to participate or not.

Christmas shoppers normally anticipate this discount period in the hopes of buying items at reduced cost, thereby saving especially on big ticket items like vehicles and appliances.

The standard rate of the ABST is 15 percent. However, there is a special rate of 14 percent for the hotel and accommodations sector, and some goods are also zero-rated.

Over the years, business owners have also conducted special sales and some have included additional discounts in order to bump up sales.

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