Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn. (FP)

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, has given the assurance that Barbadian consumers will not be double taxed when the 17.5 per cent VAT is introduced on online purchases.

Mr. Straughn made the comments on Thursday night as he spoke to the media on the sidelines of the official opening of Kooyman Megastore Barbados at Kendal Hill, Christ Church. 

Amazon Web Service recently informed that it would soon begin to charge the 17.5 per cent VAT rate to Barbadian customers.

“Right now, when you purchase goods from Amazon you pay certain state taxes wherever the good happens to be coming from, and therefore once we have that specific regime in place, then you wouldn’t be paying the state tax ….

“Persons will not be taxed twice simply because you will not pay the domestic sales tax or whatever tax is there. You will pay the taxes in Barbados, which obviously helps to support the infrastructure here … and the delivery of public services in Barbados,” he said.

He added that Government was working hard to ensure that once goods arrived at the border, the necessary information was shared so there was no double taxation, and the various processes would be seamless.

However, Mr. Straughn reminded that there were certain goods and services which did not attract VAT, such as books and educational activities, and stressed that would continue in the digital space.

The Minister noted that Amazon registered with the Barbados Revenue Authority in November last year.

He said with the implementation of ASYCUDA World, last September, and the introduction of the new tariff, the data now had to be shared with Amazon and other retailers. This means that the retail side with regard to the tax would be phased in.

He said Government was in discussions with Airbnb to settle the memorandum of understanding for how the taxes would be transmitted, and their frequency. 

Minister Straughn noted that Government would continue to work with all partners to collect taxes as easily as possible and have them remitted into the Treasury.

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