According to the list of fundamental products, no value-added tax (VAT) may be applied to any of the items on the list. Yet it is perplexing, according to Gretl Wolfram, president of the Retailers and Entrepreneurs Association of Suriname (WOVS). “It’s likely that not all of the essential items on the list will be VAT-free. Only the items on the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation’s list are exempt from taxes “affirms Wolfram.
On the Ministry’s list are included the importers of the commodities. So it may very well be that VAT is added, says Wolfram, if the name of an importer who ships in some basic products does not show up. For instance, there are several brands of diapers, soap, and sanitary towels. The chairman of the WOVS claims that although the importers are different, the list is released every two weeks.
Wolfram uses jam as an illustration. When a certain importer’s name first appears, it is absent from the publication that follows. Many kinks still need to be worked out. Many shops are still confused about how VAT works and what proportion of tax should be added. According to widespread belief, the percentage for items not included in the basic commodities list is around 10%.