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Saint Lucia’s preparation for VAT running smoothly

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Monday, September 21, 2009 The Value Added Tax (VAT) Implementation Project Team is continuing to educate citizens on the various aspects of a VAT system and how the implementation of VAT will affect everyday living in Saint Lucia. Government has set April 1, 2010 as its target date for the implementation of VAT on the island.


Public Relations Specialist of the VAT Implementation Project Team Kurt Reynolds, said after making presentations to several organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Petroleum Dealers Association, several misconceptions about VAT has been addressed and people now have a better appreciation of the VAT system.


“People are generally concerned about the business aspect of VAT when it comes, including VAT returns and other issues relating to the invoice credit mechanism. Of course, ordinary citizens are concerned about whether they will be calculating for themselves the Value Added Tax when they get to the cashier. We have done much to alleviate those fears by explaining to people that the shelf price of items will include the Value Added Tax. So when you get to the cashier you are going to see the amount you have paid for the items, and your receipt will indicate the amount of VAT which you have paid for the items you purchased,” Reynolds said.


The VAT Implementation Project Team has also recently launched a new television talk show, which is designed to address concerns from citizens and to better explain the VAT system. Reynolds said the Implementation Project Team is committed to ensuring that all Saint Lucians understand VAT before the implementation date.


“We have just launched our VAT talk show entitled TALKING VAT which airs every Monday on HTS and CHOICE at 8 p.m. This programme is designed to ensure that all citizens are versed on the various concepts of the VAT system. Additionally we are going to ensure that we reach citizens across the island utilising the Kweyol language because we recognise that many Saint Lucians communicate in Kweyol,” he said.


Reynolds also explained that VAT is not an additional tax but rather a replacement for some indirect taxes currently being administered by various government departments such as the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise Departments. VAT will also replace the consumption tax.

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