Wednesday, 4 June 2014

100% increase on professional licensing fees

A number of professionals whose services require them to receive a licence from the State to operate can find themselves getting fined fees as high as EC$30 000 if they fail to comply with the law, which makes it mandatory for them to obtain an annual licence.

Head of the Inland Revenue Unit, Dr. Raphael Stephens, said that the law for annual licensing has existed more than 25 years, but few professionals have complied.

“We are putting the necessary structures in place for all who have to obtain an annual licence do so, as it’s a violation of the legislation if they don’t comply,” he said.

During the May 27 session of the House of Representatives, the members approved the Licence Act Order 2014 which makes it mandatory for 45 different professionals to obtain annual licensing fees. Dr. Stephens said that the fees for the professionals named in the Act increased by 100%.

“Some of the practitioners are fully aware that they have to obtain a licence, but they have not been doing so for years and so once the legislation have gone through, the entire legal process will be working to increase its compliance,” he said.

The fees start from as low as EC$5 for Hucksters or Traffickers to EC$10 000 for Motor Vehicle Dealers. The fees for Accountants, Architects, Auctioneers, Lawyers, Engineers,  Doctors, Dentists, and Surveyors moved from EC$500 to EC$1 000.

Commercial Agents will now have to pay EC$1 200; Real Estate Agents; Distillers and operating a Brewery EC$5 000; Charterers of ships, yachts or boats annual fee will be EC$2 500; Duty-free shop EC$5 000; Chemists EC$600 and Travel Agents EC$500.

The licence for operating or managing a watersport business will be EC$100; operating a video rental outlet is EC$500; operating a club EC$1 000; a cinema EC$500; a refreshment house EC$500; operating a guesthouse EC$600; a hotel with 20 bedrooms or less will be EC$1 000; a hotel between 21 and 90 bedrooms EC$1 500; and a hotel over 90 rooms will be EC$2 500.

The gun licence will be EC$500; the boatman will be EC$50; the wireman licence will be EC$200; while a building contractor will be EC$720.

Where the Bond established with the Customs and Excise Department doesn’t exceed EC$100 000,
the annual fee will be EC$12 000 and where the Bond established with the Customs and Excise Department exceeds EC$100 000 but does not exceed EC$200 000, the fee will be EC$16 000. Where the Bond exceeds EC$250 000, the fee will be EC$20 000. (LS)

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