The May 2015 National Budget announced targeted tax reform and modernization measures focused on Customs, Business Licence and Real Property Tax.
The May 2015 National Budget announced targeted tax reform and modernization measures focused on Customs, Business Licence and Real Property Tax. With this modernization, the Government of The Bahamas announced a reduction in the maximum rate for business licence fees from 1.75 per cent of turnover to 1.5 per cent, as well as reductions in rates for agriculture and fisheries operated businesses and for independent fuel distributors in the Family Islands.In addition to these rate reductions, certain administrative amendments were announced including:
Effective July 2015, businesses that have a turnover of one hundred thousand dollars per annum or more, must submit financial results accompanied by a statement as to the turnover of the business certified by a qualified accountant who has no interest in the business to which the certificate relates.
To avoid processing delays, businesses falling in this category must ensure that certifications accompany their 2016 business licence renewal application.
Fines and penalties are also now being imposed as a result of last year’s amendments to the Business Licence Act.
The deadline for filing business licence renewal applications is now January 31 and the deadline for the payment of taxes is March 31. To avoid fines and penalties, businesses should ensure that they submit their renewal applications on or before January 31, 2016 and pay by March 31, 2016.
You can now renew your business licence online. Renewal applications commenced online as of January 1, 2016.
There are several ways to pay when applying for or renewing your business licence using the Online TaxAdministration System (OTAS). It is important to ensure that your payments are being made with respect to Business Licence and not Value Added Tax (VAT).
While most businesses file their business licence renewal based on the calendar year, this has not always been enforced. Therefore, businesses that have used other year ends for business licence renewals must now conform to the calendar year reporting requirement as of January 1, 2016.
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