Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 30, 2021 (SKNIS): The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which is a Bill to amend the Income Tax Act Cap. 20.22, was passed in the Federal Parliament on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
“What we are trying to do, in essence, is a relatively small amendment to the Income Tax Act and it centers around the concept of whether a business entity is resident in our country or is not resident,” said Attorney-General, the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr., who was also the Mover of the Bill, adding that the amendment “sort of” complements the formation of companies.
Attorney-General Byron said that the business climate has flourished as a result of the law.
“We have had what would have been considered an attractive jurisdiction in terms of company formation especially in Nevis where companies, entities, could be registered with the understanding that they would have some freedom from taxation elsewhere. And we ourselves did not impose taxes on those entities as it made us very competitive,” he said. “We have all had to adjust as it was to ensure that our jurisdiction is not deemed an uncooperative one in terms of tax matters.”
He added that this amendment… “Gets us more in line and completes our commitment that goes back to December 2018 that we would have conformed as it was to the guidelines that we had negotiated with the European Union.”
Minister Byron said that Bill had extensive consultations over the last few years and information was disseminated via various platforms.
“The Inland Revenue Department and the Government Information Service have posted this Bill on their websites for feedback and consultations by all stakeholders,” he said. “Madam Deputy Speaker, the Inland Revenue Department has emailed this Bill and others to all stakeholders on its mailing list to ensure that no stone was left unturned in terms of its distribution. The department would have facilitated several consultations with individual stakeholders to clarify how the Bill would impact the operations if this Parliament were to adopt it.”
The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2021, had its first reading on November 17, 2020.