The St Kitts-Nevis government has announced an extension of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Day in a bid to further stimulate the economy in the twin-island Federation as it reopens following the closure occasioned by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The government, based on representation and consultation with the Chamber, decided on Monday that we would extend VAT Day which was originally carded for Friday, 18th December by another day to Saturday, 19th,” Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris said during his weekly television programme “Leadership Matters” on Tuesday night.
“We hope that the additional day will help to further stimulate economic activity, assist small businesses with improved sales and help spread economic activity over those two days,” Harris told viewers.
He said that the primary reason behind the Cabinet’s decision to add a second VAT Day is to minimise overcrowding on any particular day.
“We hope by extending the VAT Day offerings to Saturday we could less congestion on the Friday and on the Saturday and behaviours more conducive to the COVID-19 environment and we expect businesses…to observe COVID-19 protocols regarding physical distancing, the mask wearing, etc.”
The government has said that on the discounted VAT Days, all tangible items currently subject to 17 per cent VAT qualify for the discount.
It said eligible items must also be available for sale and immediate issuance or delivery to the customer on the day and orders for items that are not in stock do not qualify.
The government said that for vehicle purchases, VAT is exempt on the first EC$50,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) with VAT at the standard 17 per cent charged thereafter.
“Additionally, throughout the entire month of December, persons will benefit from approved duty concessions on food, gift packages, and passenger allowances,” a government statement noted.
It said gift packages of foodstuff up to 400 pounds in weight will be allowed free of duty and taxes, and travellers and non-commercial importers will receive a duty-free allowance of EC$540 or US$200 off the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value of goods.