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Imbert: Play Whe, Lotto tax on hold

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The proposed 10 per cent tax on winnings from National Lottery games will be implemented early next year— rather than this month— and will only apply to winnings over $1,000, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said yesterday.

Imbert detailed the development in Parliament, piloting a Finance bill to implement measures in the 2018 Budget.

The 10 per cent tax on winnings from games under the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) was listed in the Budget to be implemented on December 1, this year.

But Imbert said it will take the NLCB, lottery vendors and agents some time to get accustomed to the regime of withholding taxes and remittance procedures. He said Government has set a target of early January to proclaim this Budget clause and to start the tax.

In the interim NLCB, vendors and the Board of Inland Revenue would undergo training to get acclimatised with remittance of the tax.

He said the tax will only be imposed on winnings over $1,000, which is a lower level than the tax which Jamaica, for instance, has on its lottery games.

Government is also “holding” on the initial proposal for the Works Minister to limit the number of maxi taxis on any route. He said that will not be done “at this time”.

He said talks have been held with maxi taxi associations and owners and the proposal won’t be implemented. He said talks would continue with stakeholders and the matter will be addressed later.

In his Budget speech, Imbert had proposed the removal of restrictions for banded maxi-taxis to operate on a particular route.

Imbert also announced yesterday that the environmental tax of $20 on tyres will come into force from next week.

He said the private sector has approached Government for a public-private partnership on a recycling initiative. He said receipts from the tyre tax will fund that plan.

The 35 per cent tax on commercial banks will start from January. He added this is part of the burden-sharing adjustment thrust. He noted Central Bank’s report that banks showed a $4.2b profit in 2016.

“They’re making super profits, we felt since they’re making billions, we should impose the tax,” he said.


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