Providenciales, 31 Mar 2015 – No new taxes, but some expensive changes will take effect tomorrow and it impacts businesses, including employees. We learned today that minimum wage is postponed to May 15, 2015 but last week, the public was informed of changes to the Immigration Regulations which will see work permit fees increased by over 100% in some cases and the NIB informed on March 17th that payments will be increased as the wage ceiling is raised; that change also comes into effect on April 1st, 2015. There will be some savings… business licenses are cut by 50%; there will no longer be the 7.5% Customs Freight Insurance Tax; the FIT is gone in what Finance Minister Washington Misick called a rationalisation strategy.
The Domestic Financial service tax and a wide range of bank service fees will no longer be charged but to transfer money out of the Turks and Caicos will more expensive; no longer at 10%, now 12%. Pensioners likely welcome the news that during a recent Cabinet meeting it was decided that, and I quote now, “TCI National Insurance Board pension regulations will be changed to ensure that monthly retirement pensions will be based on the ‘best five years of contributions’ of the past ten qualifying years. Pensioners will then receive a pension calculated on the 5 years of their highest total amount of insurable earnings.” Even better news is that the new policy takes effect retroactively from 1 January 2015.