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Govt to establish commission to oversee all taxation appeals

Government yesterday tabled the Tax Appeal Commission Bill, 2019 which would provide for a new single Tax Commission that would oversee all taxation appeals.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the measure is in an effort to promote tax fairness.

“Such a move is in keeping with the government’s objective of improving the ease of doing business and enhancing the administration of taxes,” he said while delivering the government’s 2019/2020 fiscal agenda in the House of Assembly yesterday.

“In the past, we have had several, separate review boards for appeals made to each of the types of tax in our current regime. However, only a few of them were commissioned or functional. The changes in this legislation will now set up a single Tax Commission that will act as an umbrella for the appeals for a number of different tax types, including appeals for customs, business license, real property tax and value-added tax (VAT). The commission will be appropriately staffed and hear tax appeals promptly. The current members of the VAT Appeals Commission will become the tax commissioners for this new entity.”

The VAT Appeals Commission was established under the last Christie administration in 2015.

As it stands, if a VAT registrant is unhappy with any decision made by the VAT comptroller, that registrant may lodge an appeal with the commission.

An appellant who is aggrieved by a decision of the commission may appeal that decision, but on matters of law only, to the Supreme Court.

Last month, Ernie Wallace was sworn in as customs appeals commissioner, chairman of the Customs Appeals Commission, VAT appeals commissioner and chairman of the VAT Appeals Commission.

Paige McCartney

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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