Tax reductions, incentives being considered -Finance Minister

Finance Minister Winston Jordan on Wednesday announced that the value added tax (VAT) is likely to be reduced to 12 percent as part of an overall package of tax reductions and concessions on building materials and certain productive sectors.

Jordan, who has been on the 2020 election campaign trail, told a sod-turning ceremony for two internationally-branded hotels, that corporation and income taxes would be reduced. Referring to A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change’s (APNU+AFC) manifesto for next month’s general elections, Jordan said “in-house” discussions with the tax reform committee have examined earned income relief for persons earning below the income tax threshold of GYD$65,000, further reduction in company and personal income tax, VAT reduction to “at least” 12 percent, reduction in fuel tax especially for generators that aid in the production of goods for export, a gradual shift from tax exemptions to tax credits, and reduction in taxes on building materials such as cement and steel to aid the construction sector.

“We know that construction is going to rise significantly and we want to promote local construction and in this regard I can tell Barama who has approached me that we will be considering their proposals very favourably so that plywood – an industry [sic] we once exported – could get back on its feet,” he said.

Government has already reduced the 16 percent VAT to 14 percent.

The finance minister said incentives will be granted to the manufacturing and agriculture sector, especially forestry, and businesses located in interior regions.

The 2020 National Budget has not been introduced in the National Assembly because the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) had stated, in validating the 2018 no-confidence motion, that the David Granger-administration had been in caretaker and interim status. Parliament has since been dissolved and 2nd March, 2020, constitutionally declared as general elections day.

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