Adding turnover tax to bills carries 5,000 guilders penalty

POSTED: 03/22/11 12:27 PM

Tax inspectorate warns businesses

St. Maarten – The tax department made a public announcement yesterday, warning businesses to stop adding the turnover tax as a separate item on invoices and receipts. Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto issued a ministerial decree that makes this practice punishable with a maximum fine of 5,000 guilders (a bit more than $2,775) per bill, invoice or receipt.

The Today Newspaper reported for the first time about businesses adding the 5 percent turnover tax to their bills on January 18, when concerned tenant reported that their landlords were adding the tax to their monthly rent. At that moment, the increased turnover tax rate had not been implemented yet. The new rate went into effect on February 11.

Already then, a spokesman for the tax inspectorate made clear that this was illegal, but in spite of this, several businesses have continued to add the 5 percent to prices that already included the old 3 percent turnover tax rate.

“The turnover tax is not supposed to be carried over to customers. The businesses have to pay this tax,” the spokesman told this newspaper in January.

In an ad placed on the government information page in the local newspapers, the tax inspectorate confirms this.

“The turnover tax is an indirect tax with the character of a consumption tax. Therefore the turnover tax is supposed to be included in the prices. For this reason the turnover tax should not be stated separately on the bill, invoice or receipt.”

Businesses that continue to add the tax to their bills are punishable as soon as the ministerial regulation has been published and implemented.

In an opinion piece this newspaper published on March 3, we demonstrated that adding the 5 8.14 percent price increase.

But there are companies that go even beyond that. On a recent receipt from the Kangaroo Court eatery across from the courthouse for instance, we found on a bill of $15.25 additional tax charges of $2.97; that is not 3 percent or 5 percent, but 19.47 percent.


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Comments (2)


  1. Albow says:

    and Kangoroo Court is where all the layers and the judges go to lunch, isn’t it????

  2. Albow says:

    “Lawyers”.. sorry! It was no pun intended!

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