Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Residential property owners to pay 10% VAT on rental earnings


By Linda Straker

Property owners who rent residential properties that are equal in value or more than the Value Added Tax threshold of EC$120 000 will have to register to pay VAT.

Parliamentarians in the House of Representatives on Friday approved an amendment to the Value Added Tax legislation, which will require all suppliers of accommodation to register and pay a ten per cent VAT of the amount charged for the property.

Under the law, accommodation includes: a supply of accommodation in a building, part of a building, a group of buildings (including the structures within the cartilage thereof) that constitute a hotel, motel, boarding house, guest house, villas, an inn, student housing dormitories, apartment complex, private house or a room or similar establishment in which lodging is regularly or normally provided for a daily, weekly, monthly, or other periodic considerations.

Accommodation is also is defined as a supply of accommodation in, or the right to occupy as a residence, a caravan, houseboat, camping site, boat, marina berth or similar place on terms commensurate with those of landlord and tenant if the accommodation is provided to an individual (alone or together with other individuals.)

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, who is also the Finance Minister, presented the Bill to the House and explained that the legislation is meant to plug the holes within the system that allows for some to get away without paying tax to the system.

“If you are making thousands of United States dollars, you have to pay your fair share,” he said.

All accommodation suppliers will have to register before July 31 as the law is expected to go into effect as of August 1, 2014. Failure to register the accommodation with the VAT Unit can result in penalties that includes fines in excess of EC$5 000.

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