CASTRIES, St Lucia, CMC:
Despite reservations among lawmakers about business readiness, operational costs and timing, the St. Lucia Senate has passed the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, keeping the legislation on course for the revised October 1 implementation date.
With the law’s assent by Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, St Lucia will become the last member state in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) single market but Montserrat to introduce the sales tax that is intended to replace a raft of taxes and duties.
St Lucia’s VAT is to be levied at 15 per cent on goods and services and at eight per cent in hotels. There were calls from two independent senators ‹ a doctor and a hotelier - for a further delay in VAT, and government Senator Debra Tobierre, a business owner in the south, admitted that all of her questions on the indirect tax were yet to be answered.