Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 06, 2017 (SKNIS): It is important that when consumers are taking advantage of Discounted VAT Rate (DVR) Day slated for Friday, December 15, that they themselves are not taken advantage of by businesses that want to unscrupulously charge a higher VAT Rate than the 5 percent set by the Government.


This is according to Edward Gift, Comptroller of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), who is encouraging consumers to be cautious, especially on DVR Day.


“What we just want consumers to do is just be vigilant. If they recognize someone is selling them goods at a VAT Rate greater than 5 percent they are encouraged to make a report at the Inland Revenue Department,” he said.


Mr. Gift said that the Government has recognized Value Added Tax (VAT) Day to be an important fiscal policy measure, and noted that “notwithstanding the amount of revenue that it is forecast to forgo, we think it is an opportunity where the Government would give back to its citizens.”


He added: “We want to encourage all citizens to take advantage of this one particular day and ensure that they capitalize on the discount that is offered by the Government,” he said.


The Comptroller of Inland Revenue said it is expected that the amount of spending or activity that took place on the last VAT Day may probably be around the same level or maybe even higher for 2017.


He explained that the IRD encountered some severe problems on DVR Day 2016 including, but not limited to, businesses having the incorrect VAT rate on some of the goods, and businesses charging 17 percent VAT after 5:00 p.m. when VAT Day is set for 24 hours.


“There will be joint teams… from the IRD and the Department of Consumer visiting businesses to ensure that they are charging the correct rate for VAT,” said Mr. Gift.


Mr. Gift extended sincere thanks to businesses and social partners who assist with VAT Day because for it to be successful it takes tremendous effort by the Inland Revenue Department, the Traffic Department of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force and the businesses in the private community to get it to work.


He reiterated, “We would just like to thank them for their support in terms of ensuring that this initiative for the Government, with regard to the VAT Day, is successful and want to encourage them to also take this opportunity to offer more discounts to their consumers, the shoppers, that they would be able to have goods at more affordable prices.”

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