Shigemoto expects significant progress on tax reform in 2012

POSTED: 01/11/12 12:41 PM

St. Maarten – Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto expects significant progress to be made in tax reform in 2012. Current efforts are focused on revamp the country’s tax system making it easy to understand, easy to collect and leading to economic efficiency, fairness, transparency, and a stable and predictable system to fund public expenditures.
A Tax Reform Workgroup that was established between 2010 and early 2011 is charged with laying the ground work and have now presented idea on a number of areas and made several recommendations. Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto then used that information in a meeting with consortium Taxand/A&M Taxand/VMW Taxand, the largest independent global tax organization which provides tax advice to clients worldwide during a working visit to the Netherlands in October 2011. That led to a contract being signed with the firm in November for them to work along with the country’s tax authorities to redesign the tax system; assist the Ministry of Finance and the Tax Authority in building a modern state-of-the-art tax administration; and to significantly improve the process of tax compliance management.
The next step is for meetings to be called with stakeholders once a preliminary design of the new tax system has been drafted.
“I am confident that we are on track to put in place a reformed tax system for the country in 2013. Everybody is upbeat and working diligently with respect to designing a system that is best suited for our economy. This is a joint effort involving the Island Receiver, the Tax Inspectorate and Taxand/A&M Taxand/VMW Taxand/Taxand Curacao. As a nation, the safety and security of the country, the health of our citizens, the provision of a dynamic education system, and ensuring vital public services are delivered, are among some of the areas that a reformed tax system should be able to generate the resources necessary to meet our country’s commitments to the people and taxpayers,” Shigemoto said on Tuesday.
The Minister will be meeting with the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) on Wednesday to discuss the Turn over Tax and tax matters. The Secretariat of the Ministry of Finance attempted to schedule a meeting with the SHTA in December but the latter was not able to meet on any of the proposed dates.

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