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FINANCIAL Secretary Simon Wilson.

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Gov’t goes high-tech for taxes 5% up on Budget

The Government is employing satellite imagery and artificial intelligence (AI) to boost revenue collections that are 4-5 percent ahead of projections for the 2022-2023 fiscal year to-date, a top official disclosed yesterday.

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‘Not claiming victory’: Yet deficit is beaten by $70m

The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday said he “won’t claim that victory yet” despite the prior fiscal year’s $689.5m deficit coming in almost $70m below the final projection outlined in May’s Budget.

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Top revenue collector eyes 2/3 expansion to 500 staff

The Government’s main revenue agency is targeting a further two-thirds expansion of its workforce to around 500 staff, a top official revealed yesterday, adding: “We have no staff in the Family Islands.”

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'Very small' US hike impact as national debt past $12bn

The Ministry of Finance's top official yesterday said last week's Federal Reserve rate hike had "a very small" impact on interest costs tied to the $2.317bn in foreign currency debt held by external investors.

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Top official rules out ‘debt restructuring’

The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday reiterated that the Government has “no plans for any restructuring” of the $11.8bn national debt as he confirmed the hiring of an advisory firm to aid fiscal management.

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‘No victory lap’ as VAT 10% up on pre-COVID

The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday said there is “no victory lap yet” despite the Government’s modest $46.2m April surplus due to the continued existence of a likely “substantial tax gap”.

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Health insurance VAT: 'This is not about money'

The Government has undertaken not to change the VAT treatment of private medical insurance claims until a full study is done, its top finance official asserting: "This is not about trying to get tax money."

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‘Options limited’ over relief for gas dealers

The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday said the Government’s “options are limited” in providing the relief sought by petroleum retailers struggling with gross margins of 10 percent or less.

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FINAL DEMAND: Tax arrears rocket $260m in blow to revenue targets

The Government is owed more than $261m in “outstanding arrears” that were due for payment from three key revenue streams within the 21-month period to end-March 2022, it has been revealed.

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Law’s ‘inflexibility’ forces $251m extra borrowing

The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday hit out at the “inflexibility” of the Government’s own financial management laws for forcing it to seek parliamentary approval to borrow an extra $251.4m.

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‘No disconnect’ despite $200m surplus increase

The Bahamian economy’s “exceptional” post-COVID rebound justifies revisions of more than $200m in key Budget projections, top officials asserted yesterday, despite Opposition fears of a “disconnect” that will undermine fiscal credibility.

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Gov’t revenue $210m ahead of projections

The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday the Government revenue is $210m above forecast for the 2021-2022 fiscal year-to-date and is expected to maintain that momentum through to end-June..

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Biggest VAT increase from restaurants with zero rating elimination

Restaurants will likely be the sector that produces the biggest increase in VAT payments due to the elimination of zero ratings and exemptions, the Ministry of Finance’s top official has predicted.

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Gov’ts $40m property tax arrears in ‘22 goal

The Government is on track to collect $40m in real property tax arrears in 2022, a top official has revealed, while pledging that there have been “lessons learned” from the recent New Providence-wide revaluation.

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'Everything on the table' as potential solution to soaring gas prices

FINANCIAL Secretary Simon Wilson said “everything is on the table” as a potential solution to soaring gas prices, including tax relief.

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‘Highly probable’ most of $900m tax debts seized

The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday said the Large Taxpayer Unit is “just the start” of major reforms as he revealed it is “highly probable” much of $900m in past due taxes will be collected.

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Gov’t’s $206.5m deal with Goldman ‘speaks volumes’

The Ministry of Finance’s top official yesterday asserted that the Government’s $206.5m “repurchase” deal with Goldman Sachs “speaks volumes” to the credibility of its fiscal and economic plans.

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‘No issues whatsoever’ on $2bn Gov’t roll over

The Ministry of Finance’s top official last night said he foresees “no issues whatsoever” over the Government’s ability to refinance $2bn in domestic debt coming due for repayment by June 2022.

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Gov't to meet realtors on 'misguided' tax concerns

The Government will meet with the Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) to address what a senior official described as "misguided" concerns over real property tax revaluations.

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‘Trade off’ over civil service pay restraint

The Ministry of Finance’s top official says the rebounding economy will help the Government restrain public sector wages to $660.5m in four years’ time - a sum $10m below the current Budget.

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‘Baseball $31m an unfunded obligation’

THE additional $31m needed to complete the Andre Rodgers Baseball Stadium is part of $1 billion in unfunded obligations facing the government, according to Financial Secretary Simon Wilson.

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New tax measures to bridge ‘gap’ over Gov’ts extra $1.3bn

The Government will bridge the “gap” to its $1.3bn revenue increase with “additional measures” in the upcoming mid-year Budget as it faces criticism for “very extreme” fiscal forecasts.

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Govt yet to appoint chief procurement officer

FINANCIAL Secretary Simon Wilson says the government has yet to disclose contract awards as the Public Procurement Act mandates because no chief procurement officer has been appointed.

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Issues finding answers on Minnis administration's COVID spending

FINANCIAL Secretary Simon Wilson says finance experts have been challenged in gleaning the necessary information to determine a true picture of the former Minnis administration’s COVID-19 emergency spending.

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