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Saint Vincent and The Grenadines - Indirect Tax Guide

Saint Vincent and The Grenadines - Indirect Tax Guide

Explore the requirements and rules that apply to Indirect Taxes in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines.

Explore the requirements and rules that apply to Indirect Taxes in Saint Vincent.

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General

Types of indirect taxes (VAT/GST and other indirect taxes).

In 2007, VAT was introduced in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. The Commissioner of Inland Revenue, supported by the Inland Revenue Department, administers the tax. The Customs and Excise Department collects VAT payable on imports on behalf of the Commissioner.

Are there other indirect taxes?

All imports are subject to customs duties, and home-produced goods (mainly liquor, beer and cigarettes), and fuel imported by a wholesaler.

What supplies are subject to VAT?

Supply of goods or services to another person, including business, trade, manufacture, commerce or adventure in the nature of trade.

What are the standard or other rates (i.e. reduced rate) for VAT/GST and other indirect taxes?

VAT standard rate 16 percent; VAT reduced 0 percent, and 11 percent for the hotel sector. Other rates may apply.

VAT/GST registration

Who is required to register for VAT/GST?

Registration is required when the registrant has annual sales of 300,000 East Caribbean dollars (XCD), effective 1 May 2017. Voluntary registration is permissible.

Is voluntary registration for VAT/GST and other indirect taxes possible for an overseas company (e.g. if the annual turnover is below the relevant VAT/GST and other indirect taxes registration threshold)?

Yes, through an agent.

Are there any simplifications that could avoid the need for an overseas company to register for VAT?

No.

Does an overseas company need to appoint a fiscal representative?

Yes, depending on the type of supply the company may be regarded as a taxable person and therefore might need to register.

Which forms and supporting documentation does an overseas company need to submit for VAT/GST and other indirect tax registrations? 

Taxable persons are required to complete a VAT Tax Remittance Form and Return.

Is grouping* for VAT/GST and other indirect taxes possible?

No.

VAT/GST compliance

How frequently are VAT/GST and other indirect tax returns submitted?

One return per month. The VAT return for each tax period should be filed by the fifteenth of the month following the end of the taxable period.

What are the exchange rate rules in your country?

Fixed exchange rates (1 US dollar=XCD2.70).

International Supplies of Goods and Services

Exports – Goods

How are exports of goods treated?

Exported goods are treated as zero-rated supplies.

Exports – Services

How are exports of services treated for VAT/GST purposes?

Exported services are treated as zero-rated supplies.

Imports – Goods

How are goods dealt with on importation?

VAT is payable at the time of the import to the Comptroller of Customs who must collect the VAT due and obtain the TIN, if any, the import declaration and invoice values.

Imports – Services

How are services brought in from abroad treated for VAT purposes?

The reverse charge applies and VAT is charges on imported services where the supply is used:

  • to make exempt supplies
  • for private or domestic use, or a use that would be considered private or domestic if the recipient were and individual
  • to provide entertainment

VAT/GST recovery

Can an overseas company recover VAT/GST and other indirect taxes if not registered for VAT/GST locally?

No, unless through an agent.

Are there any exemptions with the right to recover or deduct input VAT?

Yes. Input VAT may not be deducted in relation to the supply of exempt services.

Are there any restrictions to the deduction of input VAT?

Yes. Same as above.

Tax points

When is VAT/GST due on a supply of goods or services?

A supply of goods or services is deemed made on the earlier of the time when an invoice for the supply is issued by the supplier, or any of the consideration for which the supply is received. The payment for each tax period should be paid by the fifteenth of the month following the end of the taxable period.

Invoices

Is a business required to issue tax invoices?

Yes.

Is it possible/mandatory to issue invoices electronically?

Yes, however, an audit may require the presentation of physical invoices to the authorities.

Is it possible for the vendor to issue an invoice (i.e. self-billing)

No.

Record-Keeping Requirements

How long must records and invoices be retained?

7 years after the end of the tax period to which they relate.

Can the invoices be stored abroad?

No, the accounts, documents and other records must be maintained in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines.

Audits

Do tax audits take place on a regular basis?

Yes, audits are conducted and different selection criteria apply.

Are audits done electronically in your country (e-audit)? If so, what system is in use?

No, physical audits are conducted with the use of electronic data.

What penalties can arise from non-compliance?

A late-filing penalty of XCD500 or 5 percent of tax due, whichever is greater, for each month in which the return remains outstanding.

Interest at the rate of 1.5 percent per month, or part thereof, for the period during which the payment remains unpaid.

Other penalties may apply.

Special Indirect tax rules

Are there any special rules for the sale of a company by one taxpayer to another where VAT is not due on the sale?

Special provisions apply regarding exempt supplies, governmental activities, public entertainment, etc.

Are there unique specific indirect tax rules that you would not expect to find in ‘standard’ VAT jurisdictions?

Various provisions apply.

Does a reverse-charge mechanism apply for goods or services?

Yes.

Are there indirect tax incentives available (e.g. reduced rates, tax holidays)?

Yes, reduced rates with respect to the provision of the hotel sector. Zero rated provisions also apply.

Rulings

Are rulings and decisions issued by the tax authorities publicly available?

Court rulings are public but rulings issued on individual requests are not usually made public. However, as a result of an issue the authorities may issue a policy note.

For further information please contact:

Louisa Lewis-Ward
Partner, Tax
KPMG in Barbados and Eastern Caribbean
T: +1 246 434 3941
E: louisaward@kpmg.bb

Footnote

*By ‘grouping’ we mean: either a consolidation mechanism between taxpayers belonging to the same group (payment and refund are compensated but taxpayers remain distinct) or a fiscal unity for VAT/GST purposes (several taxpayers are regarded as a single taxpayer).

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