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$14 000 home hand

Albert Brandford

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FIRST-time homeowners will soon be able to claim up to $14 000 as a rebate on building materials.The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government is going to the House of Assembly today at 10 a.m. with amendments to the Value Added Tax Act and the Income Tax Act to give effect to a 2008 general election campaign pledge.A secondary effect would be to provide a tax exemption in respect of locally produced items of art and craft sold at the Grantley Adams International Airport or the Bridgetown Port.The income tax amendment provides that with effect from income year 2010, “the tax payable by persons engaged in the construction of houses for sale at a price not exceeding $400 000 each inclusive of land, is 15 per cent of every complete dollar of taxable income directly relating to the construction and sale of those houses”.In its manifesto, and during the election campaign, the party had promised: “In the first 100 days of the new DLP administration [it will] remove VAT from building materials on houses valued up to $400 000.”The amendment says first-timers building or buying a dwellinghouse may apply to the Comptroller for a rebate on the building material used in the construction of the house where the house is valued at not more than $400 000; and is being used by that person as a residence.The 1996 VAT regulations would also be amended to provide that the rebate on building materials be calculated at seven per cent of the value of the dwellinghouse; “but where the value of the dwellinghouse exceeds $200 000, the value of the house for the purposes of the rebate shall be deemed to be $200 000”.The amendment stipulates that the application shall be made within two years of the date on which construction was completed; in such form as the Comptroller approves; and accompanied by a valuation prepared by the Commissioner of Land Tax or a registered valuer; a Certificate of Compliance from the Chief Town Planner; and a sworn affidavit stating that the applicant has satisfied the requirements of the act and is using the house as a residence.The amendment also says the rebate shall be granted only once in respect of any particular dwellinghouse.It adds that a person who has bought a dwellinghouse from an approved developer within the meaning of the Housing Incentives Act would not be eligible to apply for a rebate under this act, and the provision should not be interpreted as permitting rebates to be granted in respect of dwellinghouses constructed before the commencement of the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act 2010.