Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan today tabled the 2018 National Budget totalling $267.1B, a 7.1 percent increase over the revised 2017 Budget.
Budget 2017 totalled $250B and was presented to the National Assembly on November 28, 2016.
This year’s Budget introduced several measures to support the Government’s green agenda and improve various sectors. Below is a list of measures proposed in Budget 2018:
- Exemption of Excise Tax on vehicles principally designed to accommodate LPG gas, with an engine capacity not exceeding 2000 cc and not exceeding four years old from the date of manufacture to the date of importation.
- Exemption of machinery and equipment from the payment of Customs duties to set up 75 refilling stations for such vehicles, as determined by the Commissioner-General.
- Minimum Personal Allowance of $720,000 to be given in full, regardless of whether a person works for the whole year or a part of the year.
- As in the case of public sector employees, a tax-free vacation allowance to be given to private sector employees up to a maximum of one month of the employee’s base salary.
- Increase Old Age Pension to $19,500
- Increase Public Assistance to $8,000
- Restriction of the importation of Pine Wood and Pine Wood Products, with effect from January 1, 2018.
- Suspension to increase the Common External Tariff (CET) on Pine Wood and Pine Wood Products, from 5 percent to 40 percent, has been approved. The new tariff will be in effect from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.
- With effect from January 1, 2018, exemption from VAT, a supply of logs and rough lumber to the sawmilling industry.
- Commence forest inventory to the tune of $120M.
- Establishment of Dimension Stockyard to the tune of $50M
- A reduction in the Tributor’s Tax from 20 percent to 10 percent, with effect from January 1, 2018.
- Replacement of the current ―2% of the gross proceeds regime with a sliding scale percentage that is based on the price of gold: Price of Gold (per ounce) Percentage Income Tax Payable, Under US$1,100 2% Income Tax (Final Tax), US$1,100 and under US$1,300 2.5% of Gross Proceeds (Final Tax),US$1, 300 and under US$1,600 3% of Gross Proceeds (Final Tax), Over US$1,600 3.5% of Gross Proceeds (Final Tax)
- Reduction in the rates of Excise Tax on the importation of overland transportation used for tourism purposes in Regions Nos. 1, 7, 8 and 9.
- Free vehicle licences to motor buses and motor vehicles that operate in Regions Nos. 1, 7, 8 and 9.
- Removal of VAT on vehicles that are less than 4 years, which are used to transport more than 21 persons.
- The capital costs and expenses related to provisions of day care services to employees, and the construction of handicap facilities will be allowed in full as an expense to those employers and businesses.
- Removal of Excise Tax flat rate of US$6,900 and replace it with a VAT of 14 percent, on vehicles 4 years and older that carry between 22 and 29 passengers.
- Embarking on Education programme aimed at sensitizing small businesses to the availability of various concessions available under the various Tax Acts.
- Remove the VAT on the provision of all educational services, with effect from January 1, 2018.
- Grant an amnesty to all delinquent taxpayers – corporate and individual – who are outstanding in the filing of true and correct tax returns and payment of their true and correct taxes. This amnesty will be in effect from January 1, 2018, through September 30, 2018. Taxpayers who file and pay all principal taxes on or before June 30, 2018, will have all interest and penalties waived, while those who file and pay all principal taxes between July 01, 2018 and September 30, 2018, will have 50 percent of interest and penalties waived.
- Propose that in certain instances, as predetermined by the Commissioner-General companies who file corporate tax returns after the due date of April 30 be accepted for filing purposes, and the audited accounts filed on or before December 31st of the year in which the return falls due.
- Provisional Licence be issued for a period not exceeding two (2) years, for premises conducting some of the following businesses: Grocery Shops, Variety Stores, and Snackettes from January 1, 2018.