IMF recommends VAT for Dutch St. Maarten
The IMF recommends revamping the Dutch St. Maarten’s tax system.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten, Monday September 19, 2011 – The International Monetary Fund ( IMF) has suggested that a Value Added Tax be introduced in St. Maarten as part of a changes aimed at revamping the country’s tax system.
Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto said the IMF has also suggested that the rates for income and profit tax be lowered, and that the country syncronise its currency policies with Curaçao.
Shigemoto, according to the Daily Herald newspaper, said while government "definitely takes heed" of these recommendations, they needed to be placed in the political reality of the day.
"We need to decide what we are doing with dollarization versus a common currency. The IMF did advise that we first take care of the majority of the issues they presented before going over to dollarization. So in essence they think we can dollarize, but not just yet,” he stated.
Citing concerns about the amount of products imported into St. Maarten and Curaçao, the IMF mission said more work is needed on revitalizing the economy.
"What the IMF found encouraging and comforting is that the issues as presented were not a surprise to anyone they spoke with and each Minister and Ministry could elucidate on plans to address most of the issues. This demonstrates that the government is on the right track," Shigemoto stated further.
The IMF mission will present its final report today to authorities in St. Maarten and Curaçao.