TCI faces VAT next year as bill signed by UK boss

| 20/07/2012

(CNS): VAT has now become law in the Turks and Caicos Islands after the bill was signed by the Acting Governor Patrick Boyle, on Thursday. Officials from the UK’s interim government said no one on TCI’s Consultative Forum voted against it with five members voting in favour and five abstaining. AS a result people on TCI will be paying the new tax from April next year.  2013. There will be no sales tax on fruit and vegetables, fresh meats, hurricane supplies, leases, rents, water and electricity or cooking fuel and building materials in order to support the local construction industry, the government said.

Although there was a concerted campaign by the business community to persuade government to take a different course the community now has just eight months to prepare itself to pay the new tax.

“I hope that everyone who took part in this debate can put their differences of opinion behind them to help make the implementation of VAT as successful as possible,” said Boyle in a statement on Thursday. “VAT implementation here is about providing our essential public services with a more predictable, regular and stable cash flow. If we can harness the energy and creativity of TCI’s businesses, I am sure that we can be successful together.

“The Forum made clear that they would like to see more examples of how VAT will affect the man or woman in the street and smaller businesses, as part of a wider education programme. We accept too that the VAT debate so far ended up being above their heads between Government and TCI's bigger businesses. We are working on this now.”

He said regulations were still being finalised but would be released over the next eight weeks along with the zero-rated and exempted items.

The VAT White Paper is available here


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  1. Libertarian says:

    People would do well to follow this story carefully; especially, those who are desirous of seeing Cayman under full British rule. How will the tax be administered?  What will be the control mechanism to determine rates?  Furthermore, seeing the serious drought that will be effecting the cultivation of corn and food prices in the United States, what "egyptian storehouses" so to speak, will be set aside for Turks and Caicos Islands?  I really feel it for them.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Turks will now have a VAT because incompetent and / or dishonest politicians misuded the peoples' money. When I hear we have be careful because we are next, its purely because our politicians spend more than they take in. This is not rocket science people, its bad business. The next step is for the incompetent / dishonest politicians to blame our problems on the rich. This way the fingers can be pointed away from the real source of the problem. Just you watch. The U.K. is not going to sit around and watch this happen. And for the people that have this bass ackwards, the U.K. is the unfortunate solution, not the cause, of the problem. 





  3. Anonymous says:

    As I am reading the article in the Observer about the implementation of a VAT in the Turks & Caicos Islands, I am trying to comprehend the ramifications of this revenue measure.


    One of the things I have noted so far is the following;

    • While the VAT is a revenue system that is currently not in use in the Cayman Islands, we are familiar with the methodology of a “point of sales tax” added as a “service charge” in Restaurants or the “accommodation tax” applied to Hotel Bills. In other words it is a cost that is not reflected in the advertised price of a product, but it nevertheless becomes a part of the purchase price of the product or service.


    A little research has also revealed the following

    • Most VAT’s start off at a fairly reasonable rate, but in most instances, Governments look upon the VAT as the funding vehicle for their lack of prudent fiscal discipline and the rate of VAT rises incrementally and inexorably “ahh, we’ll just raise the VAT a half a percent” (again and again). Before you know it there is a VAT of 16 -17%


    On the “plus” side;

    • If the VAT replaces a number of other Fee’s, Duties and other charges, perhaps it would be more transparent and less subject to intentional and un-intentional abuse and it might bring some efficiency benefits.
    • One of the mischievous practices that I have noted in the past, were retail prices of a product were increased dramatically and the blame for that increase was laid at Governments feet for having increased the Duty, goes as follows: If my recollection serves me right, about 15 years ago, Government raised the Duty on alcohol which manifested itself in cost increase per liter of 80 proof spirit (most of your Gin, Vodka, Scotch, Rum etc) of CI$ 2.00. Now 1 Liter equals about 33.8 ounces, a regular mixed drink uses about 1.25 ounces of Spirit, therefore there are about 27 drinks in a Liter, a $2.00 cost increase divided by 27 portions = about 7.5 cents cost increase per drink, I can personally attest that in the average 7 mile beach establishment drinks were increased by approximately $2.00 per drink and it was blamed on the increased duty! Quite a windfall!


    • A common feature of VAT is that it is not charged until the final consumer of the goods or service is reached. This could have the effect of lower prices for goods and avoid the impact of import duty being compounded by several stages of percentage based mark-ups being applied! Here is an example:


    Currently; By the time this sample unit of merchandise reaches Cayman it costs $100.00, normal Duty is 20% brings the cost to $120.00 the wholesaler adds his mark up of (for example) 50%, he sells this product to the retailer for $180.00 the retailer adds his mark up of 100% and now sells the item at $360.00.


    If you had a VAT, it might go like this; original cost $100, (reduced) import duty 10% = 110, wholesaler mark up 50% = $165.00 to retailer, retailer mark up 100% = $ 330, quite a difference


    • Another feature of VAT is that it is refunded to visitors in many countries on amounts above a certain threshold; this becomes a selling point for high value items.


    I hope to learn more about this topic as time goes by, one thing is clear; no matter what form it takes, Taxes will have to be paid to fund necessary services of Government and infrastructure. It is the Citizens duty to watch out that funds are not being wasted and I feel that we are not doing a very good job on that.

    • Libertarian says:

      Thank you for that educational write-up. What I find is very disturbing but awfully true are the words, "governments look upon VAT as the funding vehicle for their lack of prudent fiscal discipline."  Let me reiterate, because I believe people have to read things twice before their minds get the picture, a "funding vehicle for their lack of prudent fiscal discipline." Serious times are up against the people of TCI.

    • Anonymous says:

      Normal Duty is 22% (not 20%).

  4. Anonymous says:


    The VAT tumor has now been seeded.

    Eventually its’ cancerous growth will be everywhere and on everything.

    Don’t be fooled people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems as if the Cayman Islands are next in line for VAT.  The UK is pushing for some form of taxation for all of its terrritories.

      • Anonymous says:

        Becaue we don't run the territories efficiently. If we could run our own household responsibly there would be no need for mother England to step in. But, as usual, we have to blame someone esle for our shortcomings. 



    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are fooling yourself!

      Cayman already has a form of VAT, effectively a sales tax of sorts, whereby you tax all your imports. It is the only real form of taxation you have apart from stamp duty, if you see that as a threat then you need to come up with some better way to pay for your inefficient civil service, and your spend thrift politicians! Perhaps you should start by asking why some of your glorious leaders buddies get to keep part of the other small tax (the Tourist levy) for themselves, and why they get exemption from the import duty!

    • Anonymous says:

      You should be asking how and why did Turks get into such a poor situation to begin with?Once you can answer that question, honestly, you will notice the answer is corruption. Indeed, the praising of politicians instead of holding them accountable. 


      • Anonymous says:


        The question doesn’t have to be asked, it’s obvious.

        Look around you and where and how  you’re living.