Saturday, April 13, 2024

Meeting to discuss basket of goods

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MINISTER OF FINANCE Chris Sinckler is hoping that a meeting this afternoon between his Ministry, the Barbados Revenue Authority, other stakeholders and operators would bring consensus to the issue surrounding the basket of goods.

Some supermarkets have so far refused to apply changes to the food items exempt from the 17.5 per cent value added tax which took legal effect from September 1, because of confusion about the changes.

Sinckler, who will lead today’s meeting, put it down to a challenge with the tariff headings.

“The items which fall outside of the basket would be subject to the tax. The ones that are in would continue as per normal. Where there has been some level of confusion is in the interpretation of the tariff headings,” he explained.

Calling it a very technical issue the Minister said he will get the authorities to match the technical people with the operators and stakeholders and see if we can have a consensus.

“The same problems that caused items that ought not to have been in the basket that caused them to get in, it is the same challenge that people are having to take them back out. It is a highly technical issue, not everybody understands the tariff headings and how to deal with them so sometimes mistakes can be made…”

He said even though persons were given two and a half months to familiarise themselves many waited until August 30 only to realise it was more complicated because the products were so vast and different. (MB)

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