ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- The people of Antigua and Barbuda will from April receive tax relief when the government plans to abolish personal income tax (PIT).
PIT, introduced by the now opposition United Progressive Party upon coming into office in 2004, imposes a tax of 8% on residents earning an income above $3,500 and 15% on those earning an income above $25,000.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne
“Effective April 2016, personal income tax will be abolished in its entirety. That was a major campaign promise, and my government honours its word to the people. Promise made, promise kept. There is credibility in our words and reliability in our actions. What we say is what we mean. Abolishing personal income tax is an important reform. Not only will it put more money in the pockets of the people, so that they can save or spend more for the benefit of the economy as whole, it will help to re-establish our country as one of the most competitive in the Caribbean and beyond. Mr Speaker abolishing the PIT will put over $30 million back into the pockets of people,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced.
He noted that previous Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party administrations governed Antigua and Barbuda successfully for 27 years without personal income tax. He said that the cost of collecting PIT, the difficulty of enforcement, and its unfairness, make it sensible to remove the PIT from the books.
“Antigua and Barbuda will become a competitive location to attract the headquarters of companies and for professionals to relocate, thereby creating more jobs. Retirees will choose Antigua and Barbuda as their retirement home; CIP investors will invest and chose Antigua and Barbuda over our competitors. The loss of $37 million from the elimination of the PIT will be partially substituted by an increase in the Revenue Recovery Charge (RRC) from 10 percent to 13 percent, which is expected to yield an additional $20 million in revenue. Mr Speaker, all food items in the ABST basket of goods will be exempt from this increase,” he announced.
He concluded that his government expects a more buoyant and expanded economy to empower the government with increased revenues to fund the socio-economic development of the masses.