Antigua And Barbuda Increases Scope Of Sales Tax
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Finance, the Economy and Public Administration,
Harold Lovell has announced that the lower house of parliament has approved
an amendment to the island’s sales tax that will increase the tax take to put the
country’s finances on a sustainable footing.
Under the Antigua Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) Amendment Regulations the list
of zero-rated items is to be reduced to 29 categories in order to generate additional
revenues. Responding to criticism, the Minister asserted that this was still
comparatively more than many other regional countries.
The country’s fiscal
consolidation programme has been developed with the assistance of the Eastern
Caribbean Central Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Regional
Technical Assistance Centre and the International Monetary Fund.
When the amendment regulations are passed by the Upper House, the new schedule
of zero-rated goods will take effect from March 1, 2010. The list of items that
will not attract ABST includes basic foods such as rice, flour, bread, cooking
oil, chicken and fish. Among the other categories are fruits and vegetables,
baby foods, baby diapers, medicines and pharmaceuticals, and text books. Additionally,
more than 100 agricultural inputs are exempted from the ABST.