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Ministry of Finance Pleased with Results of First VAT Filing Deadline

March 9, 2015 (Nassau, Bahamas) – The first monthly filing deadline for large businesses was on March 2nd, and the Ministry of Finance and VAT Department are pleased with the results and positive outcomes of the filing process. Nearly, 95 per cent of businesses with revenues of $5 million or greater successfully completed the filing process for the January tax period.

“We have worked with Bahamian businesses to ensure that they understand their VAT filing responsibilities and are happy to report that the vast majority of large businesses had a successful experience,” stated John Rolle, Financial Secretary.

Throughout the filing process, the VAT Department has been working hard to keep businesses informed of VAT regulations and will continue to host workshops throughout the country and answer questions that businesses may have.

In addition, the first filing deadline also provided the VAT Department with the opportunity to review the filing system and address any areas for improvement or clarification. The VAT Department highlighted the following for registrants:

· Ensure you meet the filing deadline: If you are making a payment through your financial institution, make sure that you allow for two full business days for the government to receive the payment. The return filing is only recorded as complete after the payment has been received.
· Disclose VAT deferrals when you claim the credits: Businesses that benefit from deferred payment of VAT to Customs must disclose the liability on the same return as when they claim the VAT credit. Some of the January returns will be amended to correct for this omission.
· Report total sales plus VAT: When filing the return, businesses must report on total sales including all VAT collected. The Revenue Management System is equipped to verify the amount of VAT that was collected.
· Refunds to be paid only on verified banking details: In order to ensure that qualified businesses receive their entitled VAT refunds, the VAT Department is dong secondary checks to verify the banking information provided by registrants. This protocol will be followed whenever an initial refund is to be paid out. Some refunds have already been requested.

“The results overall for the February filing process was incredibly positive and we are confident that future filing processes will continue to get smoother,” stated Minister of State Finance, Michael Halkitis. “Tax reform is a key component of our Government’s plan to reduce the deficit thereby reducing our need for additional borrowing,” continued the Minister.

The first quarterly filing deadline is set for the end of April and will require all more than 5,000 businesses to complete their first return. As always, the VAT Department will help guide these businesses through the filing process and will continue their outreach efforts.

For more information visit www.bahamas.gov.bs/VAT or look up VATBahamas on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

To contact the VAT Department directly, please send an email to vat@bahamas.gov.bs or call VAT Client Services at (242) 225-7280.

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