MPs approve move to defer taxes
Measures to allow the Minister of Finance to defer taxes and compliance requirement in situations such as a pandemic have been approved by legislators.
Amendments to both the Companies Act and the Public Treasury Act were given the green light by both sides of the House of Assembly on Friday.
The first amendment, The Companies (Ratification of Deferred Returns, Fees and Taxes) Amendment Act 2020, allows the Government to defer compliance requirements that had been due on June 30.
The legislation also grants the Minister of Finance the ability to defer future compliance deadlines.
Meanwhile, the Public Treasury (Administration and Payments) Amendment Act 2020 allows the Minister of Finance to defer or waive the payment of “public money” including taxes, government fees and penalties.
In the case of both pieces of legislation, the deferrals can only take place in the case of “exceptional circumstances” such as a state of emergency, a public health emergency or a natural disaster.
Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, said the moves would help the Government grant relief to companies and bodies that had been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and gave the Government greater flexibility moving forward.
Opposition MP Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said the amendments made “eminent good sense” and that the One Bermuda Alliance had no objection.
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