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A VAT has been implemented. A hassle or a favor?

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While it was first exhilarating, VAT has since been implemented. This is referred to as the Value Added Tax Act in formal language. The word expensive has been abandoned. Because if there is anything the Surinamese fear, it is price increases. Our government, incidentally, opposes this. This is accurate in terms of numbers as well. The turnover tax is replaced by the VAT. The sales tax was 12% and the VAT will be 10% a 2 percent decrease.

I won’t even suggest that the implementation of VAT was a mistake. In order to lessen the effects of inflation, the government plans to compensate employees with this. Here, a very light dampening is more appropriate due to the much greater inflation %.

The uncertainty is the issue.

As I already stated, I have nothing against the new law. I even believe that in the long run, this can only be for the better. We are still dealing with certain problems, though. First of all, a lot is still ambiguous. And that is very annoying. It is not true that we only learned about the impending passage of this bill at the end of December 2022. However, the law wasn’t actually passed by parliament until the very last day of the previous year. Many businesses do not yet know how the tax will be collected or even if the law really exists, which is one of the reasons for the late approval. The tax authorities have not been able to visit every business. As a result, many business owners aren’t prepared for it yet. Additionally, they set their own prices.

When I entered a grocery last week, the latter was similarly clear. I overheard a conversation in which the supermarket’s owner told one of her staff that the prices should increase to a specific level with a 10% VAT rate. In other words, they determine their own price. Hence the concern that it won’t become cheaper but rather more expensive.

Where are the controls?

Stores have three months to complete the conversion. I’m interested to see what happens. As is frequently the case, control is the issue here. And little of the new law will be implemented without control. More importantly, the quality of life for Surinamese citizens is deteriorating.

But let’s view it favorably. There are many positive changes taking place. If VAT is implemented effectively, it will be a beneficial thing.






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