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

As Christmas Day approaches, Barbadian consumers can look forward to a much deserved ease this Monday with the VAT-Free Day for shopping and retailers can expect increased sales at their stores.

Despite the short turnaround time from the announcement, Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Anthony Branker, noted that its members in the retail sector are working round the clock to ready themselves to satisfy the requirements of the initiative.

Mr. Branker this afternoon provided a status update and indicated that: “The members of the Retail sector have been diligently using every resource possible both local and international to make the necessary updates to their IT systems so that consumers can have a satisfying Vat Free Day.” 

“The Barbados Revenue Authority has also signaled its readiness to administer the VAT filings associated with the VAT-free Day,” says Minister Ryan Straughn. “We have had dialogue with stakeholders and issued a Guidance Note which outlines the requirements for retailers in relation to this initiative, and provides a description of goods that will ascribe a VAT rate of zero per cent, and indicates the filing and reporting obligations for companies and businesses that may be affected by the temporary change,” he said. 

Recognising that such a tax relief initiative requires a short lead up time to avoid significant shifts in spending patterns or price changes, the Minister highlighted that: “In many cases we are working with the retailers to allow them to facilitate this important initiative which will benefit consumers and businesses alike. Some retailers have noted that they will have to use a discount to achieve the zero rating for the day and this will be accommodated. We look forward to the success of this initiative, and thank all retailers for their hard work in making the VAT Free Day a reality for consumers.

Barbados Revenue Authority

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