Thursday 16 July, 2020

Colm clarifies: VAT bonds accessible despite tax payments

Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert

Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert

Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, is clarifying the government’s initiative with Value Added Tax (VAT) bonds for small businesses. 

In a virtual media conference today, the Minister referenced a media article in which a businessman incorrectly claimed that the payment of VAT bonds would only be issued to businesses that have up to date tax payments. 

The confusion came after an accounting firm left out a line in a release to its customers which further explained the government’s position. Imbert implored the need for firms quoting the Ministry of Finance to quote them verbatim, in order to avoid any undue panic in the public domain. 

“This is a very sensitive issue. This whole question of money, financial relief being provided by the government at this time, in this difficult period is very, very sensitive. People are hyper-sensitive about it; they’re not happy, they’re upset,” Imbert said. 

The missing line read: “Any liabilities that remain outstanding, at this time, will be deducted from the amount due before bonds are issued.” 

This means that any business that is owed VAT refunds will have their payments made, but all outstanding taxes will be retrieved from that payment; the owner will receive the differene. 

Imbert says that while he understands the source of the misinformation, he thought it necessary to alleviate any fears that the business community may have, as a result of the claims. 

“By leaving that out, anyone receiving that circular from that firm could be led to believe that unless and until you pay all your taxes, you would not get any VAT refunds; that is completely incorrect,” he said. 

Imbert says the process of paying out VAT bonds started sometime last week. 

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