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We Won’T Be Letting Web Shops Off Unpaid Taxes, Warns D’Aguilar

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar.

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

THE Minnis administration has no intention of forgiving any of the unpaid taxes owed by gaming operators, according to Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar yesterday.

Even as negotiations continue between the four web shop operators who are considered non-compliant and government officials, the minister issued the warning, insisting that at some point they would have to conform to what is required.

He said currently three operators were fulfilling their obligations, accounting for 70 percent of government’s projections.

“We’re negotiating with the remaining four,” the minister with responsibility for gaming said yesterday. He was asked about the issue during a press conference at the Ministry of Tourism’s Bay Street offices where it was announced that a voluntary separation package agreement was finalised with managers of the Grand Lucayan hotel in Grand Bahama.

“We can negotiate all we want but at the end of the day they will have to become compliant with the tax that’s due. We are not in any way going to forgive any of the debt, so we’ll continue to negotiate.”

Asked pointedly what would be the result of operators continuing not to pay the gaming taxes, the minister said: “There are remedies which I’d prefer not to discuss now.”

Last week Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest, while encouraging operators to pay what is owed to the state, said there was some delay in collection as one operator was completely compliant, another only partially compliant and then some had not complied.

However, the Bahamas Gaming Operators Association released a statement hitting back at his comments.

It read: “Currently, there are three operators that have paid all of their outstanding taxes, which represents 70 percent of the operator taxes due. We are uncertain as to why the minister of finance would make such a public statement, that he knows or ought to know is demonstratively false.”

It continued: “As for patron tax on lotto winnings, initially a tax on patron deposits, gaming operators could not lawfully begin collecting these taxes on April 1 as the government intended.

“To implement such a tax, operators’ systems must be modified, internationally tested, certified and approved by the regulator as fit for purpose. Only once that process is completed can the collection of taxes on lotto winnings commence.”

Comments

BMW 1 week, 5 days ago

Blah blah blah Well stop talking and do something!

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BahamasForBahamians 1 week, 4 days ago

Whether the government lets them off or not these guys aren't paying... does he think we are not seeing that?

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DDK 1 week, 4 days ago

A 'web shop' is an implement of greed on the part of its owner and of greed AND deceit on the parts of two consecutive Bahamas Governments.

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TalRussell 1 week, 4 days ago

Fair, fair yes challenge comrade ministers Dionisio James and KP to name another single business identity Imperial red shirts cabinet have extended such 'beggars' nonpayment compliance courtesy to, just one, yes, no has asks why such tax relief payment vacation?

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screwedbahamian 1 week, 4 days ago

Revoke the licenses and close down ALL THE WEB SHOPS until ALL 100 percent (%) of the industry are current on the payment of TAXES due the Bahamian People. Going forward require ALL WEB SHOPS to place interest free Reserves for the minimum of what their taxes were for their last year with the Gaming Board. If they cannot meet this requirement then closed them down and REPLACE THEM WITH THE PEOPLES CHOICE, A NATIONAL LOTTERY. Can we go into the food store and take our groceries home telling the manager we are not paying any V.AT. until we can negotiate the rate with the government. ????

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 4 days ago

This yapping little white-haired poodle is transforming himself into a plucked non-stop clucking hen. The fact that Minnis, Turnquest and D'Aguilar recently gave a $25 million dollar ($25,000,000) tax break to the largest of the corrupt numbers bosses, i.e. Sebas Bastian and Craig Flowers, and now the smaller bosses want their own big tax break, tells all of us only one thing: The most senior officials in the Minnis-led FNM government must have their greedy hands deep in the pockets of these racketeering thugs.

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