Gov’t reduces VAT from 16% to 14%, but removes tax exemptions on zero rated items

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…As $250B Budget is presented in Parliament

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan
Finance Minister, Winston Jordan

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan earlier today announced during the Budget 2017 Presentation that Value Added Tax (VAT) will be reduced to 14 per cent and the income tax threshold will be increased by $5000.

Along with the reduction of VAT, Guyanese will now be charged on services which were previously deemed zero rated, such as water and electricity. Additionally, items that are used on a daily basis such as milk, potatoes, etc and were once on the tax exemption list, will now carry the 14 per cent tax.

Jordan also stated that VAT will be charged on the entire cost of electricity consumption, exceeding $10,000 and the entire cost of water consumption, exceeding $1,500.

The Minister announced a $5,000 increase in the income tax threshold whereby employees will now only pay tax on income above $60,000 per month.

Among the notable measures in  the presentation, he included an increase in old age pension from $18,200 to $19,000. However, the fees for passport processing were raised from $4,000 to $6,000, while TIN Certificates increased from $1,000 to $5,000.

In the three and a half hour long presentation, Jordan presented a 250 billion dollars budget in the National Assembly. Notable budgetary allocations include a $9 billion injection into the ailing sugar industry, and $29.1 billion into the security sector and plans for the development of Solar Farms across the country.

The Finance Minister was adamant that these measures included in Budget 2017 would transform the economic and social well being of the population and lead the country into prosperity.

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