Ma­nu­fac­tu­rers pro­test plans to exempt ze­ro-ra­ted items

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

A num­ber of bu­si­nes­ses are ex­pres­sing deep con­cerns over plans by Govern­ment to eli­mi­na­te all ze­ro-ra­ted items from taxes and ma­ke them exempt.

On Mon­day, Fi­nan­ce Mi­nis­ter Wins­ton Jor­dan, in his bud­get speech, an­noun­ced a pro­po­sal to ex­pand the list of exempt items and eli­mi­na­te all ze­ro-ra­ted items, with the ex­cep­ti­on of tho­se per­tai­ning to ex­ports and ma­nu­fac­tu­ring in­puts. In es­sen­ce, the mo­ve will in­crea­se ma­nu­fac­tu­ring costs for lo­cal com­pa­nies as they will not be ab­le to claim back the taxes paid on eve­ry item or in­put bought, it was ar­gued Tues­day . Cur­rent­ly, bu­si­nes­ses are al­lo­wed to claim back tho­se taxes. “By chan­ging the­se pro­ducts from ze­ro ra­ted to exempt means no tax would be char­ged, as this is now dee­med an exempt sup­ply. Be­cau­se it be­co­mes an exempt sup­ply ra­ther than a taxa­ble sup­ply (at 0%), com­pa­nies li­ke us can­not help but pass the­se char­ges to cus­to­mers. The bottom li­ne is that lo­cal pro­ducts will be­co­me mo­re ex­pen­si­ve,” one bu­si­ness­man ex­plai­ned. Ac­cor­ding to a num­ber of bu­si­nes­ses, the mat­ter will be rai­sed in co­ming days with the Gu­y­a­na Ma­nu­fac­tu­ring and Ser­vi­ces As­so­ci­a­ti­on (GMSA) with the ho­pes Govern­ment can­cels its plans. “This VAT paid now be­co­mes an ex­pen­se to us and will in­crea­se our costs. Our pro­ducts then be­co­me mo­re ex­pen­si­ve than im­por­ted on­es which are not saddled with this cost. If we pass this cost to the con­su­mer, we can­not sell our pro­ducts, as it be­co­mes mo­re ex­pen­si­ve, so we ha­ve to ab­sorb, which means less pro­fits. In a way it is a hi­d­den tax on bu­si­nes­ses,” one se­ni­or exe­cu­ti­ve said Tues­day. The exempt items in­clu­de things li­ke bread, flour, un­pro­ces­sed wheat, toi­let tis­sues in rolls, ve­ge­ta­ble see­ds, pad­dy, oni­ons, gar­lic, po­ta­toes and split pe­as, among other things.

(Kai­e­teur­news.com)

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