by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London
17 November 2020
The Government of the British Virgin Islands has announced that it will seek to boost tax collections by modernizing tax administration, not by imposing new taxes.
In his 2021 Budget statement, Andrew Fahie, the territory’s Finance Minister, said: “The transition into e-Government will be accelerated so that we can enhance the services available online: e-billing, online payment and online bookings.”
“Legislation to facilitate aspects of e-Government that will contribute to efficiency and generation of income was tabled in the House of Assembly for first reading earlier in the year. However, this legislation was delayed by COVID-19. This delay was not in vain because we have been able to further study the framework and we have found ways that can add further strength to the legislation. Just last week, the legislation already received its first reading.”
“Two benefits of introducing modern computer technology is that it will help to capture sources of leakage in tax collection and it will speed-up the process for issuing Good Standing Certificates.”
“Our understanding is that many people want to pay their taxes and other
obligations, but the current system is unable to cope. By fixing this problem, we will be able to increase our tax revenue without imposing any new taxes,” he said.
The only tax policy change announced in Budget 2021 was a one-year extension to tax exemptions for residents’ purchases of solar equipment for their properties and for electric or hybrid vehicles.
Further, the minister announced that additional funding will be provided to the International Tax Authority for capacity building activities.