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B'dos announces tax breaks for businesses

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Barbados Government today announced plans to provide a hefty reduction in corporation taxes for businesses and urged them to share the benefits with citizens.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley told Parliament that her seven month old administration would reduce the corporation taxes from 25 to as low as between one and 5.5 per cent.

She said the development means that local businesses will now be operating here on a level playing field with their international counterparts following government's decision to overhaul its tax regime to be compliant with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Mottley said that in keeping with a commitment made earlier this year by the former government to remove tax incentives to the international business sector, her administration had decided that the domestic corporate tax rate would be reduced by as much as 20 per cent while ensuring the country is still globally competitive.

She said the OECD's Base Erosion and Profit Shifting initiative means “it is no longer possible for us to have a preferential regime without incurring severe sanctions.

“Simply put, it is no longer possible to do what we have been doing for 40 years; that is, making a distinction between the taxation of companies operating internationally and those acting locally without there being severe sanctions that will affect our capacity to grow at this challenging time,” said Mottley, adding that while the commitment was ill-timed, it was necessary to follow through for the sake of the country's reputation.

She said from January 1, 2019 all corporate entities in Barbados would be taxed on a sliding scale. Businesses with taxable income of up to one million dollars (One Barbados dollar=US$0.50 cents) will pay 5.5 per cent. Corporations with taxable income up to BDS$20 million will be charged a rate of three per cent while those that earn up to BDS$30 million will pay 2.5 per cent.

Mottley said that those companies with taxable incomes of more than BDS$30 million will pay one per cent. Currently Barbados' corporation tax ranges from five to 25 per cent. All entities (excluding IP entities) licenced before October 17, 2017 will be grandfathered and in this way all of the benefits enjoyed by these entities will remain.

Mottley told legislators that it came down to either raising international business rates or lowering the domestic rate. But she made it clear her expectations that the tax cut to local businesses should redound to the benefit of all Barbadians.

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