Sales tax is a good alternative for Cayman

| 24/07/2012

Sales Tax is simply a consumption tax paid at the point of sale to the consumer. Import duties, such as we now have, actually work based on the cost of goods imported and is therefore also indirectly a consumption tax, but it is collected by government when the goods arrive and before they are sold to the final consumer.mI believe that all of the parties involved in importing and consuming merchandise in this country would benefit if we replaced our current import duty system with a sales tax.

There are two types of importers addressed here: businesses that import goods for resale and entities that import goods for private or personal use.

In relation to the first type of importer I suggest that all of those who maintain a business establishment, such as retailers and wholesalers, should be issued an importer’s license based on their specific business license.

If the sales tax system is utilized then when merchants import merchandise for re-sale, they would simply have to pay the port charges and file copies of their invoices with the Port Authority, then have the goods scanned for contraband by Port Authority, and receive the merchandise.

Most point of sale software being used by businesses today already has an option for collecting sales tax. These licensed businesses would collect the sales tax on the retail amount of sales and pay it directly to the Treasury on a periodic basis.

The second category of importers would purchase a single-use importer’s license based on 25% of the value of the goods including the invoiced cost, plus the shipping costs.

What are the strengths and what are the weaknesses of this proposal?

Strengths:

A. Government will earn more revenue on the same amount of imports.
B. Retailers will have lower inventory costs – resulting in less capital outlay.
C. Consumers will pay lower overall prices even including the sales tax.
D. Consumers might support the local economy rather than shop overseas.
E. A substantial reduction in employees and operating cost of the Customs Dept.
F. Consumers will not experience much of a change with the new system.
G. Using a sales tax system would simplify the current varied import duty system that we have at present.

Weaknesses:

A. Relying on the integrity of retailers to pay collected taxes might be a weakness.
B. The private importers would pay slightly more for their imported goods.
C. Retailers might be burdened by the responsibility for collecting the sales tax.
D Duty Free Stores would need to be treated differently to maintain their status.
F. Relying on the integrity of merchants to pass savings to consumers is an issue.

The attached comparison reflects the income and savings realized if we discarded our current customs duty system and replaced it with a sales tax system. Please see attachment titled Sales Tax.

This analysis shows that government revenue from imported goods will increase based on the amount of mark-up that merchants charge their customers.

While nobody wants to really address the amount of mark-up that retailers make in Cayman, It is believable that with the cost of operating a business in these islands, a realistic mark-up has to be around 70% of the cost of goods and shipping.

Merchants have to take into account the cost of employees, utilities, government fees and business licenses, health insurance costs, pension costs, the cost of theft, the cost of spoilage, the amount that is invested in inventory, the cost of facilities, the cost of warranties, charity, fuel costs, property, vehicle, and liability insurance, and many other expenses. Additionally they must make a sufficient profit so as to cover rising prices, and the increased cost of restocking their inventory. Finally they must make a return on their total investment.

Market size is also a negative issue for businesses operating here, a country with a relatively small customer base and numerous competitors.

It is therefore safe to assume that operating costs are high, and average profit margins have to be considerably high.

The assumption here is that a 70% mark-up rate is average, and the figures below are based on that rate. However, the attached file, as I indicated above, includes various mark-up rates from 10% to 150%.

The figure used for this analysis is a sales tax rate of 17%.

In summary the attached Excel file titled ‘sales tax’ shows that no matter what mark-up rate the merchants presently use, a sales tax of the suggested rate (17%) would result in consumer savings of 4.10%.

The amount that merchants invest in inventory will decrease by an average of 18%, resulting in savings for the merchants. This figure is arrived at when the 22% import duties are removed from the current total cost price plus import duty.

Government revenue from imported merchandise will increase by 31% on the same amount of goods when the average assumed local mark-up rate is used.

When all of these savings are multiplied by the value of our imports it is easy to realize the significance of replacing our current import duty system, with a sales tax system.

An additional financial benefit is that the cost of operating the customs department will be reduced by having fewer employees, thereby bringing substantial savings to government.

Recent events in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) indicate that a Value Added Tax (VAT) system has recently been introduced to commence next year. A VAT system as used is many countries of the world is similar, but more complicated than a simple sales tax, as I am suggesting.

With our own government facing revenue shortages, it is only a matter of time before we ourselves might be required to institute a VAT and this will create a substantial financial burden on merchants and sellers that are already overwhelmed with financial difficulties.

As the name VAT indicates ‘value added tax’, is similar to a sales tax but from the seller’s point of view is more complicated. The VAT is calculated only on the value added to a product. This will result in an accounting nightmare for local merchants and greatly increase their record keeping expenses, so as to prove the value that has been added. At the same time we would most likely still retain our import duty system, plus the value added tax of whatever percentage.

It therefore might be more beneficial to the local economy if we did away with our current customs import duty system altogether and substituted a more stable and economically beneficial sales tax system as I am suggesting.

In my humble view a VAT system is the first step towards an income tax system, as it requires businesses to provide government essentially with information on their earnings. TCI should not be too surprised that income tax will be their next alternative when the next budget crisis arrives.

We in the Cayman Islands should be more proactive in planning for our future, and my point is that now is the time to look for alternative revenue streams.

A sales tax system is therefore an alternative that we should analyze and take into consideration as to whether we will benefit by adopting this system and discarding our import duty system.

My purpose for writing this and any other article is to stimulate real debate and to encourage this country to move away from where we are, and with the hope that each of us will contribute more to building a better society.

My suggestions are not perfect and I am sure they can be improved. Your critique is welcome!

Category: Viewpoint

Comments (29)

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  1. Ari Greenwood says:

     The sudden introduction of income taxes certainly makes my suggestion of a sales tax, pale by comparison, and brings to an end, discussion about sales tax.

    I do however wish to make clarifications of what were apparent misconceptions by some posters about my article.

    I was not suggesting creating a new sales tax in addition to the customs tax, just replacing one with the other.

    There are similarities between a sales tax and VAT, but there are also differences. VAT is more complicated from the seller’s point of view. The VAT tax is paid at various stages of production or distribution, and the seller with-holds part of the tax to offset taxes that he has paid and remits the balance to the government. The seller needs an elaborate accounting system to verify the value he has added and the amount he will withhold.

    The seller collecting the sales tax must however remit all of the taxes collected to government. Any point-of-sale-system can do a printout to show what the sales were, and how much taxes were collected – a far simpler method.

    Most posters seemed of the opinion that it is impossible for the government, the customer, and the merchant to gain financially by changing the system. If you examine the excel file closely you will see that it is actually possible for this to happen.

    The seller invests less by not paying the duty up front, and while it is true if the markup rate is the same percentage then the profit amount for $100 cannot be the same as it will be for $122, but then remember that the seller still has $22 to invest in another product, and the total of $122 will bring the same mark-up amount if it has the same mark-up percentage. So that is correct.

    Will the government get increased tax when the sales tax is paid – yes, the excel calculation shows that this is correct.

    The excel file also shows that the customer will pay less and if you check all of the calculations you will see that is also correct.

    Some posters strayed by pointing out that government is wasting funds etc, but the topic of the article was changing from one tax system to another, not government waste.

    In any event, we see that our government imposes harsh taxes without any input from the public.

    Thank you all for your input. If you have further questions or comments please email me at ari.greenwood@yahoo.com

  2. Anonymous says:

    Govt. needs to reduce expenditure…stop wasting (giving away) revenue/resorces…period!

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    It is sort of ironic that those who are both 'anti-sales tax' and are 'expat-posters' on this article, have without warning been hit with a tax on their own personal income.

    It is also sort of frightening of the loss of work-permit fees by Govt, loss of rental income by Caymanians, and general loss to the economy that will result from Govt taking this route…  

    This is much worse than replacing import duty wth a sales tax…

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anytax that is an honour system will not work. Look at all the hotel room taxes never passed on to Government. All this will do is increase civil service costs tracking and collecting it and reward the rogues who cheat. Better to increase import duty, the system is in place and it can be lowered again if necessary.

    Payroll tax is a bad idea too for many of the same reasons. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't know how long you have lived here but the fact that you think import duties have a chance of ever being lowered is far fetched. Any increase on duties will put any local retailers out of business.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anyone that applies a tax to Caymanians, count your days in office

  6. Anonymous says:

    We already have a sales tax called import duty.  There is more than enough money already being raised if the government were to spend it correctly we wouldn't have a problem.  The more additional money we raise, the more money this and future governments will have at their disposal to waste.  There is still no accountability in their systemand no disincentive for them to stay on budget.  We need to institute consequences for public officials and autocrats that circumvent tender committees and neglect their bookkeeping for 5 years.  I am amazed that intelligent Caymanians would continue to suggest any number of half-baked alternatives while forsaking the obvious!

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about we get a new speaker of the house that will actually enforce the rules, introduce accountability, adopt the Miller Report recommendations and start spending within our means?  Why do we coddle successive wasteful regimes?  

  8. Anonymous says:

    I commmend the author for trying to lay out a suggestion, that is much more than the MLA's seem to have done lately.

    It is my experience with sales tax that it always creeps its way up because politicians spend more money, then raise the tax, spend more, raise, etc.

    That being said, it would be much more evident to the consumer of what they are actually paying for in tax.  The assumption of a 70% mark up is not far fetched at all, in fact, I would say that is a very logical guess.  Most of what I see here (clothes, electronics, etc) is marked up at least 70%.  My guess is that a profit margin of 10-15% would be good for any business. 

    Just for arguments sake, let's take gas.  If you figure that duty charges and the USD offset each other, gas should be selling here for KYD 3.50 (no profit).  So now let's consider that governmentst gets $.50 per gallon of gas for their part, then it would be KYD $4.00.  Since gas is about $5.60 per gallon, that would be a 40% mark up.  And of course, the figure I guese of 3.50 is what you would pay at the pump in the US, so I would imagine gas stations get it cheaper.

    Or take an Apple iPad.  $499 USD, but is $599 KYD.  Again, assume that duty and USD/KYD conversion offset each other, that is easily a 20% profit margin (excluding expenses).  From a consumer standpoint do you really think they want to pay $720 USD for someting they can buy for $499 (plus tax)?  If retailers treated customers fair I think most normal human beings here would be willing to pay a bit more for their items.  Instead, food is the only thing most of us buy here.

  9. Anonymous says:

    read the miller saw report!……………….

    this will give you the solution to cayman's economic problems…..

  10. Morse says:

    Bad idea. You need look at the reaction in TCI. Then try collecting it, setting up a collection department and just think of all the moma and pappa stores that need to have sophisticated accounting that brings along more expense. Tell it to the law and accounting firms that immediately form off shore affiliates to avoid it. It just will not work.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A rose by any other name….  You do not address the problem by increasing government revenue when the government already  takes $500,000,000.00 out of the economy every year so that it can spread the money around to pay the large cadre of voting civil servants and politicians, the many local contractors and companies doing business with the government, the massively money-losing but patronage-creating government businesses like CA, Turtle Farm, etc. etc. It's no accident that the government business model requires you to buy a license to spit on the sidewalk, they are addicted to fee income from private enterprise. You can siphon the revenues out of the front end, the back end, or sideways, but it still amounts to stifling the private sector to support the vast, unproductive public sector. Education and training still takes a back seat on the bus except when it involves pouring concrete, so many Caymanians remain uncompetitive in the job market. The big question is whether Caymanians can find leadership smart enough and brave enough to avoid  a train wreck when governments' promises exceed the private sectors ability to pay and government can no longer subsidize all the unproductive  people who depend on its largesse. You're almost there.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Ari but this is complete rubbish.

  13. Len Jackson says:

    H

    Thanks for your input but your suggestions would kill our small

    business which is on its last legs because of BIG BUSINESS as well

    as illegal businesses.

     

    Very Quickly,

     

    Your Type 1 Licensed Business would pay no duty and collect a suggested 17% sales tax on their sale of goods which hopefully would be turned over to government.

     

    OK, Business buys item for $100.00 with no import duty fees.

    After paying shipping and port fees of $50.00 (example) he has a landed cost of $150.00.  As you state he needs a 70% markup to stay in business so that brings his retail price to $255.00. Now add the sales tax of 17% 43.35 he now has to charge the customer $298.35

    Item Cost                      $100.00

    Shipping +Port charges $ 50.00

    Store Markup 70%         $ 70.00    or $105.00 if on total cost..

    Sub-Total:                      $220.00    or $255.00

    Now Sales Tax 17%      $  37.40        $   43.35

    Consumer Pays:            $257.40    or  $298.35

    and Government makes $43.35  Business Makes $70.00 or $105.00

     

    Your Type 2 Single user import license

    Item Cost                                                        $100.00

    Shipping, port                                                 $  50.00

    Duty   25%                                                      $  37.50

    Total customer pays                                      $187.50

    Government makes $ 37,50 Business makes 0 NOTHING and

    Customer saves $69.90 or $110.85 and will NOT buy locally …

     

    Lets make it simple, Let’s give all licensed businesses a duty rate of 12% on items imported FOR RESALE (which saves them $100.00 per

    1,000.00 and makes it hard for unlicensed businesses to compete .

    Since our example item cost $100.00, shipping and port $50.00 and

    Duty 22% – $33.00 theypay $188.00

    A licensed business pay duty 12% or $18.00 they pay %168.00 and now sell it for approx $200.00 or 20% markup. Consumer will buy local as why take the risk for 6% Unlicensed business will find it harder to compete and will get a business license, more money will stay in Cayman, small business will grow, and more local jobs will be created.

    i Ari

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    The problem with government is that it spends/wastes too much and not that it takes in too little. Apart from that this suggestion has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

    While I think that it is good to discuss alternaties to the present system, many of the assumptions explicit and implicit in this paraticular Viewpoint are simply incorrect and poorly thought out. The idea that government will get more money while consumers will pay less and retailers will make the same or better profit is complete nonsense. There is no free lunch. Sales taxes do not manufacture money. If government is taking more money then the rest of us have less. It is as simple as that.

    Let me point out one more falacy. Point of sales taxation systems are complex particularly when different classes of goods attract different rates. Many basic food items and educational items and medical items including reading glasses are zero rated for customs purposes at present and for good reason. Unless you are proposing that government start charging tax on all food and medical aids like glocose testing kits for diabetics thereby increasing the pain felt by ordinary people then any point of sale system will have to be customised for Cayman. If you are a seller of customised point of sales systems you might like that idea, but for the rest of us it is a bad and expensive idea.

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have a nasty feeling that you don't really understand VAT because it is simply a sales tax. With a VAT rate of 20% something costing CI$100 VAT exclusive will attract CI$20 VAT so the purchaser pays CI$120 – exactly the same as 20% sales tax. Alternatively something sold for CI$100 VAT inclusive will result in the merchant having to hand over just under CI$17 in VAT.

    If you go this route the FCO will make sure it is called VAT and having dealt with that tax for nearly 40 years this is my take on your arguments –

    Strengths:

    A. Government will earn more revenue on the same amount of imports. – Not true because the goods will have to be sold to raise the tax, the government will no longer get the money up front when they come ashore. There will also be delays while merchants calculate and pay the VAT plus a much higher level of non-payment.
    B. Retailers will have lower inventory costs – resulting in less capital outlay. – Possibly true.
    C. Consumers will pay lower overall prices even including the sales tax. – Got no idea how you figure that one out because it contradicts A, the increased revenue has to come from somewhere. In addition VAT is normally charged on goods and services so things that currently don't get hit by (or are only indirectly influenced by) import duty will attract VAT.
    D. Consumers might support the local economy rather than shop overseas. – Depends what level you pitch the VAT at. If you want this to work you need to impose VAT at the point of entry on the purchase price of personal imports.
    E. A substantial reduction in employees and operating cost of the Customs Dept. – Definitely not true because the staff will simply be re-deployed to deal with the VAT. 
    F. Consumers will not experience much of a change with the new system. – Unlikely, the way things work merchants always jack up prices to cover their costs in collecting the VAT. In addition if VAT is charged on products and services a lot of things will go up in price. As an example something like your CUC bill will probably have VAT added to it.
    G. Using a sales tax system would simplify the current varied import duty system that we have at present. – No, VAT is not levied on all products/services and when it is there can be varying rates.

    Weaknesses:

    A. Relying on the integrity of retailers to pay collected taxes might be a weakness. – There's no 'might' in this. At least with import duty you grab the money as the goods arrive, once on islands it's going to be the same kind of hassle as collercting pension contributions and medical insurance payments.
    B. The private importers would pay slightly more for their imported goods. – Not sure how that works out.
    C. Retailers might be burdened by the responsibility for collecting the sales tax. Again there's no 'might' about this. VAT is a major headache because the paperwork is considerable.
    D. Duty Free Stores would need to be treated differently to maintain their status. – They become 'tax free'.
    F. Relying on the integrityof merchants to pass savings to consumers is an issue. – I frankly doubt there will be any savings. If the VAT rate covers both the current revenue from import duties and losses due to delays in collection plus the merchants costs to implement it all prices will go up. Do you really that places will change their pricing structures? Most likely all they will do is keep prices the same and add the VAT or sales tax to your bill.

    The other problem with VAT that we found in the UK is that the flat rate can be changed instantly if the government needs more revenue so overnight it goes from 15% to 20%.

    Another point I don't understand is your linkage of VAT with income tax. Any form of retailer/merchant-based taxation is going to require companies involved to register, keep verifiable accounts and be subject to government audit so sales tax would be pushing you down exactly the same road.

    You can go down this route if you want – I wouldn't because it's the start of very short and very slippery slide into direct taxation.

  16. catherine willows says:

    thank you for this wonderful suggestion, ari greenwood.  the government should delve more into this alternative since they seem to be running out of good ideas on how to get out of the financial mess we're in.  another valuable viewpoint.  thank you, you're raising the bar here for meaningful discussions.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why give the politicians more money to play with? They waste it.

     

    Before we raise more in taxes, let's first try cutting the cost of government.

     

    If the government refuses to go on a diet, then let's keep the revenue low and starve them out.

     

  18. Anonymous says:

    My dear, we're already paying sales tax on everything that we consume. It's just charged at the point of entry and tabulated into the overall cost.  No more tax on consumables.  A modest payroll tax on incomes of over $50,000 p.a.

  19. Anon says:

    I think you might be onto something here, but I would only be looking to charge this tax to businesses (who can pass it on to their customers as they usually would).  However private importers importing stuff for personal use should not be taxed in my opinion.  Time to give the small man a break.

  20. Anonymous says:

    You overlooked a few of other weaknesses.

     

    1. Government will not get any money until the merchandise is sold. This means all of government's revenue is tied up in stores inventory waiting to be sold. Because of the high cost of doing business here, the demand for local products is small. People have the freedom to buy on Amazon for much less than shopping locally. If a retailer finds a particular product that needs to be put on sale in order to get rid of it, government will realize less revenue because the sales tax was collected on a much lower than normal retail markup. Under the current system of duties, when the retailer pays duty up front and later has to put an item on sale, they have to suffer a loss since duty was paid in hopes of a full retail markup. Under your system, the government will suffer this loss.

     

    2. In Cayman's best years, Government realized about 69 million dollars per annum from import duties. Even if your system worked and was able to double that amount (which it won't), it is still a drop in the bucket compared to an over 600 million dollar national debt which keeps growing.

     

    3. Government continues to give duty concessions to the rich developers which results in a greater tax burden to the consumer. 

     

    An easier approach to increasing Government revenue and helping businesses thrive and the economy grow would be to drastically lessen the duties, fees and fuel taxes in order to make us more competitive with the rest of the world. We may be an island but we are still part of the global economy.

     

    A tax threshold is a point at which taxes on society reap the greatest return to government with the smallest damage to public spending. When governments get greedy and go over this threshold in order to make more revenue, it begins to have the opposite effect due to the resulting decrease in public spending. The higher you pass this threshold, the revenue decreases proportionately due to ever decreased public spending and business closures etc.

    On the other hand, going too far below this tax threshold means less tax revenue for government and a really prosperous and thriving business atmosphere for the public sector. Cayman has far surpassed this delicate tax threshold and rather than backing off a bit, continues to add more and more fees and taxes to make up the shortfall. As we are seeing this cannot go on indefinitely and will eventually cause a total collapse of our economy.

    Cayman has plenty of revenue at present. The problem is that the self appointed head of finance (Mr. Bush) barely finished primary school and does not have a clue about fiscal policy. Spending is the problem. If they would just cut back on their spending habits for a while, there's a chance that this ship could right itself. History shows this is not likely.

    If you are not familiar with the Miller-Shaw report, you may like to refer to it to see what recommendation were made 4 years ago by them to government. All good but none were implemented.

     

    Government has come to rely on the wealthy few (Dart and Dr. Shetty)  as it’s last ditch hope. What will happen here is the developers will gladly help out government and when government is unable to repay the favor they will simply take land and duty concessions in return. They will own us all eventually.

     

    A self-sustaining well run government does not have to rely on vultures to bail them out and can negotiate deals on Government’s terms rather than the reverse. In world news, it was shown that the recent collapse of the Greek economy was brought about by our own Mr. Dart who called in his chips from the Greek Government who did not have that kind of cash on hand. Someday it will be Cayman making world news headlines in this regard.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  21. Anonymous says:

    There is a basic error in your spreadsheet.  It is not mathematically possible to increase the tax payable to Government and have the retailer receive the same profit while at the same time reducing the purchase price to the consumer.  

    Taking the 150% Markup example:

    Under Current Duty Rate the Sales Price is $305 from which the retailer pays landed cost of $100 and duty of $22 so nets $183.

    Under Proposed Sales Tax the Sales Price Before Tax is $250 from which the retailer would pay the landed cost of $100 so would net $150.

    i.e. these are not like for like.  

    The retailer would have to charge a Sales Price Before Tax of $283 to make the same profit as under the first sceanrio.  When 17% Sales Tax is added to that the Sales Price becomes $331 i.e. $26 above current sales price, not below.

    The inconsistency arises because in the current example you are applying the Retailers Markup Rate to Landed Cost + Duty, but in the Sales Tax example you only apply the Markup to Landed Cost so the retailer would be making a different amount in the two scenario. 

    All this aside:

    1. It may help retailers' cash flow, but switching to Sales Tax would have major / impossible cash flow implications for Government.  At the moment it gets the money "upfront".  Under Sales Tax it would only get it after sold, processed and paid.  For this reason Sales Tax if introduced would most likely be in additional to Customs Duty instead of in place of it.

    2. There would be a substantial increased administrative burden on retailers.

    3. Government staffing / cost to monitor / enforce Sales Tax would almost certainly exceed that of customs duty and customs staff would still be needed.

    4. As stated at the top there is no way to run the maths where Landed Cost, Retailers Markup and Tax/Duty payable to Government remain the same but the consumer cost goes down – so it would complicate things but produce no benefit.  It is far simpler just to adjust the duty rate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your math is faulty!

      You wrote:

      Under Current Duty Rate the Sales Price is $305 from which the retailer pays landed cost of $100 and duty of $22 so nets $183.
      Under Proposed Sales Tax the Sales Price Before Tax is $250 from which the retailer would pay the landed cost of $100 so would net $150.

      Remember that the merchant has not paid import duties of $22, so his total cost is $100 versus in your first sentence his total cost is $122. So he has $22 left to invest in other products which, when invested will bring his total profit to 22*1.50 = 33. So he will earn $183 from $122 investment in any event. This makes your #4 incorrect, and your #1,2 &3 questionable.

      It appears that you did not understand the article and the Excel spreadsheet.

      • Anonymous says:

         

        No, it doesn't change the total cost to the purchaser if the payment to the Government is upfront duty or sales tax.  If the consumer has $200 to spend he can:

        1. Pay $200 for something that duty has been paid on but no sales tax will apply to ($164 + 22% duty – $36 to Government);

        or

        2. Pay $200 representing $171 purchase price + 17% sales tax ($29 to Government)

         

        The balance in each case is the cost (excluding duty) to the retailer and their profit.  If those elements are to remain the same then the total price to be paid by the purchaser (including sales tax) can only go down if the payment to Government goes down.

        The error in the spreadsheet is because the retailer's margin in the duty example is charged on landed cost plus duty whereas in the sales tax example it is only charged on the landed cost.  So it's not actually the same as the retailer is charging a margin on a higher amount in the first case so they would actually be making more profit.

        • St Peter says:

          Your last sentence describing the error in the spreadsheet shows where you yourself are making an error. When the seller pays duty at the beginning that $22 is added to the landed cost and becomes a part of the sellers total investment and which she/he then uses to calculate their margin amount and selling price. Comprende?

          The difference between the customs tax and the sales tax is that the customs tax realizes only $22 on the landed costs, while the sales tax gives Govt the tax on the landed cost + the sellers profit.

          The spreadsheet is therefore correct and you are incorrect. I suggest that you apologize to the author of the article for your lack of understanding and for your undue critism.

          If you still dont understand just ask any seller in Cayman whether they calculate selling price based on only a part of their landed  cost, or whether selling cost is calculated on their landed cost plus the import duty they paid…

  22. Will Ya Listen! says:

    How many more civil servants will they need to administer this? The one's we have don't do anything of value so we need real ones. Filing your nails doesn't count as "of value".

    Caymanians don't pay tax. No insult intended. That's just the way it is. Not a chance.

    Ask the Pensions Office about record keeping. Be prepared to wait while they roll about the floor for an hour laughing. Not a chance.

     The bit about it being a precursor to actual tax blows it apart. Not a chance.

    Read about the Construction Industry and employees. 

     

     

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    Common sense says that when a boat is sinking, you should plug the leak rather than bail faster.

    Taxing our creaking nation any further will make the cost of living even higher than its current astronomical levels.

    It would have better if you had applied the same due diligence in advising the government how to lower their profligate expenditure (at our expense I might add).

    This government and most of all the preceding ones that I can remember have shown scant concern for the public purse. They have emptied it at will, legislated against the truth being known and generally laughed at the trusting voters.

    Please don't talk about any more taxation. We are fed up with what we already have.

  24. Anonymous says:

    A refreshing breeze.  finally an article away from omov to a more meaningful topic that could help not only government, but as well as our standard of living