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Govt to introduce back to school VAT holiday

The government will introduce a back-to-school value-added tax (VAT) holiday ahead of the new school year, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest announced on Wednesday.

“We are pleased to announce that for the first time, the government will provide for a back-to-school VAT holiday on school supplies, clothing and select food items for the two-weeks leading to the reopening of schools, hereby providing millions of dollars in savings in aggregate for parents across the country as they prepare students to return to school,” Turnquest said in the 2020/2021 budget communication.

“I would note that the tax exemption will only apply to items that are bought inside the country and not those that are imported directly into the country.

“Just as we want to support Bahamian parents in this costly annual undertaking, we also want to support local businesses. So we want to encourage you to shop at home.”

The VAT holiday is one of several tax reductions Turnquest announced.

He said the government is reducing duty on farming equipment for the use of backyard farming
from 25 percent to 10 percent.

Duty on fishing materials will be reduced from 45 percent to 20 percent.

Duty on all building materials to 20 percent.

“This includes but is not limited to: wood, glass, granite, steel, electrical supplies and fixtures, carpet, landscaping material and plumbing materials,” Turnqest said.

He said a full schedule will be published detailing the items scheduled for duty and tax reductions.

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