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Effort to exempt products for Statia and Saba from St. Maarten Turn-over-Tax

TUESDAY, 08 OCTOBER 2013

PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Finance Martin Hassink confirmed last night plans to exempt products exported directly to Saba and St. Eustatius from the 5 per cent turnover tax (ToT).

Speaking on Oral Gibbes Live via TV-15, he said a request to have the Dutch team that set up the integrated tax service in Bonaire to help St. Maarten do the same was met with reluctance in The Hague because of this fiscal issue with the two smaller islands of the Caribbean Netherlands.

“We are going to do it. I don’t know why they say it takes 40 days to change the law, but we can do it because it doesn’t make a big difference for us.

“However, I told them it won’t help them because the turnover tax is a tax on earnings. It might only benefit the supplier,” the minister added.

He was referring to the fact that even though a law change could allow businesses to deduct these products from the ToT they pay, government cannot set the price these items are sold at to the other islands.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams mentioned the matter of the turnover tax regarding Saba and Statia in Parliament as a possible motive behind the Kingdom Council’s contested instruction for an integrity investigation.

Some have suggested that had this dispute, but also other sources of irritation in The Hague such as the joint border management system at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), operating a medical evacuation helicopter for Saba and Statia out of SXM, but also the approach to the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard been handled in a less uncompromising manner, things might be different now.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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