Montserrat Reforms Import Tax Rates

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By the Caribbean Journal staff

Montserrat will introduce measures to simplify and rationalize the island’s import tax rates next month, according to Frank Ferguson, director general of the Montserrat Revenue Services.

The revisions will cause changes to be made to the tax rates charged on over 6,000 different tariff items, and the number of tax rates will be reduced in a number of instances.

“By abolishing service tax, the reforms will lighten the burden on importers by reducing the number of taxes charged on imports from three to two,” Ferguson said in a statement. “The new rules will make importers liable for duty and consumption tax only.”

According to the Ministry of Finance, items used by lower-income groups will attract a lower banding, while luxury items, such as certain electronic goods, will attract a higher banding.

“The reforms to the import tax regime were announced in the 2011/2012 budget and will ease and simplify tax collection,” Ferguson said. “They represent a key part of the government’s commitment to the Strategic Growth Package.”

He said the government would “continue its efforts to simplify the rates, in particular those that have been negotiated under the Common External Tariff Agreement of the Caribbean.”

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