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No takers yet for 50% land tax rebate

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

No takers yet for 50% land tax rebate

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The land tax department is yet to issue rebates to land owners operating in the energy and manufacturing sector despite a 50 per cent rebate provided for them in the August 2011 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
This was disclosed by Wayne Forde, commissioner of land tax, who noted that the Government ministries responsible for the two sectors had yet to make final preparations to facilitate the offer and people were yet to apply for it.
Forde was making a presentation at the recent monthly session put on by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) at the Accra Beach Hotel on Land Taxation In Barbados – Is It Fair?
In his 2011 Financial Statement And Budgetary Proposals, Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler recommended that in addition to properties used for hotels, agriculture, villas and by pensioners, “manufacturers who can certify exports to a value of $100 000 or more in any one calendar year” should also be afforded a rebate.
In addition, he said any company certified by the Division of Energy to be engaged in the production of solar energy and/or the manufacture of solar energy equipment should also be given a rebate.
“I therefore propose that with effect from next tax year (2012), a rebate of no more than 50 per cent will be granted to the land tax demanded for that year for properties which can prove that they have engaged directly in the manufacturing activity and those which have been certified by the Division of Energy to be engaged in the production of solar energy,” said Sinckler.
However, Forde said following that proposal, “So far, we have had no takers. This was supposed to be administered by the Ministry of Energy in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Trade, and they are still getting their act together on how we will administer that.
“We are quite ready to give the people their rebates should they qualify.”
There is a 50 per cent tax rebate on land used in agriculture, energy production, manufacturing, or by pensioners, and 25 per cent for land used for villas.
All rebates have been tied to income generation and therefore a tax clearance from the Inland Revenue Department and/or Value Added Tax Division would be required to access the rebate in an effort to “strengthen the management of the collection process”, according to Sinckler. (MM)