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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More tax for Bahamas Banking sector

By Scott Armstrong ~ Guardian Business Editor ~

The domestic banking sector of The Bahamas is set to be hit by increased taxes next year, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has vowed.

Speaking at a press conference at Nassau' airport the Prime Minister said: "The banking sector in The Bahamas is under-taxed, we've made that point before. We began last year increasing the licensing fees for banks in The Bahamas, that is inadequate.

"The banking sector should pay more and in due course they will be required to pay more."

One leading light in the financial world to agreed that the banking sector should be taxed harder.

President/chief executive of British American Financial Chester Cooper said: "Many offshore centers like the Bahamas appear to be increasing indirect taxes with a view to avoiding the implementation of more direct means of taxation such as income taxes or Value Added Taxes (VAT).

"Quite frankly, in time we will find that we have delayed the inevitable. Direct taxation although not without its challenges will be more efficient in terms of collections and otherwise, but is more progressive and equitable as well.

"It has long been the view that banks in the Bahamas are under-taxed and the formula quite rightly needs to be re-assessed. Insurers for example, pay a percentage of top line Gross premiums by way of premium taxes. This amount can work out to be inequitable and substantial, as there is no regard for whether the company makes a profit or not."

December 15, 2009