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'We Do Not Support Taxation Of Web Shops As Alternative To Vat'

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Staff Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation does not support the taxation of web shops as an alternative form of raising revenue, CEO Edison Sumner said yesterday.

Mr Sumner clarified the confederation’s official position on the matter amid controversy over whether or not the government should reconsider the decision to tax the unregulated industry.

“We certainly don’t want to be seen supporting what we consider to be part of the informal economy,” he said.

“Logically the decision would be either you regulate them and tax them, or do what has to be done on the government side and shut them down.

“I think that the referendum has already spoken pretty clearly to that,” said Mr Sumner. “The people chose not to have it. If the government is gonna follow the people’s mandate, then it has to be shut down. If they’re going to change that mandate, whether it’s going to be by act of parliament or otherwise, then the industry has to be taxed.”

Last week, Gaming Board Chairman Dr. Andre Rollins said the government should tax web shops to boost its revenue, allowing for a phased implementation of value added tax.

Mr Sumner said: “That is a discussion we’re having internally, we haven’t made any formal decisions on that yet, but we do have a concern about anyone operating in the informal economy where the (wider) economy does not benefit, the government does not receive its taxes from those industries and businesses outside of those operating in that industry may not be benefiting either. So we want to ensure that there is a level playing field.”

Comments

TalRussell 4 years, 10 months ago

Comrades I have a message for all those who in government and society who keep on telling us how the Numbers "Bosses" are no more than simple businessman's scratching out an "honest" living. Quick to remind us of all the thousands of steady paychecks they are responsible for? But how many of the names on them paychecks are in fact registered with NIB? Try asking legitimate business owners, if they would be afforded protection from arrest and seizure of assets, if they dared to run rackets guaranteeing such daily and steep millions in profits to their operators? Seems to all the other law-abiding Bahamalander's that operating illegal gambling shops out in the open is no longer considered "high-risk" crime. Yet, our courts still may jail your backside, if you steal a Tootsie Roll from corner store?

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henny 4 years, 10 months ago

Since it seems the web shops are going to continue whether legalized or not, the referendum never should have been presented to the public. The government should have taken it upon themselves to legalize without asking for public opinion. That way they could have established an effective date and put procedures in place for taxation. The only reason Bahamian gamblers didn't want it legalized is because they knew their "payoffs" would result in lower amounts. Therefore, the "NO" vote. The church going persons voted no simply because they don't believe in gambling or didn't want their family earnings going to the gambling industry. If legalized monies could have been used to supplement education, health and welfare and bettering the Bahamas. IF THE NUMBERS RACKET IS ILLEGAL IT SHOULD BE TREATED AS ILLEGAL.

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TalRussell 4 years, 10 months ago

Comrade Nenny don't know what constituency you live in but have you ever considered running for a House seat? You have a common sense approach to what should have been but a simple action by this PM.

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John 4 years, 10 months ago

WHO SAYS BAHAMIANS DO NOT SUPPORT WEB SHOPS AND THEY POPPING UP ALL OVER THE PLACE LIKE GREMLINS ON A RAINY SATURDAY? So how long are we going to play the morals, "chile dis a Christian nation", game and allow these multi-million, very lucrative businesses to operate tax free? Maybe all businessmen need to close their regular businesses and jump on the tax-free, web shop gravy train. Help the Bahamas maintain its' tax free status. How is it that web -shops have become the tax-free untouchable sacred cow? And what about this new tobacco tax that cause the price of cigarettes to almost double since July? Why are the 'duty paid' stamps not being applied to cigarette packages that was promised in September? Who is benefiting from the cigarette smuggling business whose spoils have doubled since the price of cigarettes doubled...the people need to know.

“The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities.” ― Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations: An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations

“Yes here's to the founding fathers—slave-owners, British citizens who didn't want to pay taxes...” ― David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp

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