SER issues advice on indirect taxation

PHILIPSBURG - Social Economic Council SER recently conducted a review of indirect taxation, as this was seen as valuable for the social economic development of the country.
SER has concluded that the current indirect tax model, which includes the Turnover Tax, has shortcomings in compliance, extent of coverage and economic impact.
All alternative tax models regarding indirect taxation will require some form of registration of transactions at the ports of entry: the harbour and the airport. Therefore, SER has advised government to register all trade transactions at the ports of entry by quantity, generic type, value and owner by CRIB number.
If a company has no CRIB number, then it should not be allowed to have imports and/or exports, said SER in the advice published in the May 26 edition of National Gazette. “Non-trade transactions for personal use by the general public, such as internet purchases, will be registered without CRIB number.”
The registration of transactions should be simple and not unnecessarily burden economic activity and consumers, the advisory body said.
The registration at the ports of entry would not delay the logistical process of importing and exporting goods, just as similar requirements in other countries don’t do so. Moreover, the administration of shipping companies, air- and ocean freight, is already geared towards a registration of transactions, and the registration of transactions can be executed under existing legislation.
The data from this registration would facilitate both the level of compliance of existing taxation and the ability to judge the returns of investments to replace Turnover Tax with alternative and more effective indirect tax models. An effective alternative tax model for indirect taxation is SER’s most important goal.
The data from registration of transactions would also give generic information which goods are actually coming in and going out of our country. The registration of transactions also addresses to some extent the unlevelled playing field that is caused by some businesses paying their fair share of Turnover Tax and others not. The latter is a longstanding complaint of the business community, especially regarding foreign businesses, said SER.
The full advice is available in the National Gazette of May 26 and can be downloaded from SER’s website:
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