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St Lucia to Introduce Value Added Tax

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The government of St Lucia will introduce a Value Added Tax in September, fulfilling what it called “undertakings given to international institutions by the former government” that VAT would be introduced during this financial year.

Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony’s St Lucia Labour party, which ousted former Prime Minister Stephenson King’s United Workers Party in the Nov. 28 elections, had placed several conditions on VAT introduction during the campaign, however.

These included maintaining a basket of goods that would be “zero rated,” meaning no VAT would be imposed on those goods, and delaying the introduction of VAT on the payment of electricity and water bills until the government was satisfied that the public was “reasonably protected from arbitrary increase by the companies that provide these services.”

St Lucia’s VAT Implementation Unit is currently finalizing arrangements for the introduction of VAT.

The unit plans to intensify its work in the coming weeks in order to better inform the public and the private sector about information relevant to the VAT’s implementation.

St Lucia is the only country in the Eastern Caribbean that has not introduced a value added tax.

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