VAT Department Issues Guidance Notes and more information…


NASSAU, Bahamas — The VAT Department recently issued VAT Guidance Notes to further familiarize the public on Value Added Tax, and in this instance on the tax as applied to these services: finance and insurance, transportation of passengers and goods, retail and wholesale trade, construction, land and property information, medical and healthcare, education, charities, clubs and associations; there is also VAT and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement, and the tax with respect to motor vehicles.

The department stated that additional Guidance Notes will be issued to apply to the areas of hotel and holiday accommodations, duty free shopping, cash accounting and flat rate schemes, and transitional arrangements.

The Government’s tax education campaign advises the public and the local business community of their civic responsibility to register and comply with the new legislation, which will be in effect January 1, 2015.

The VAT Department disseminated the new Guidance Notes to complement the General VAT Guide, released on July 30, 2014. More detailed information specific to industry sectors is provided with details of situations and circumstances to be expanded and revised, based on feedback.

The department stated that the documents in the Value Added Tax Bill 2014 and the draft Value Added Tax Regulations 2014 are general in nature and intended to provide an overview of details and legal information essential to public awareness.

VAT information may be obtained on the Bahamas Government

The Ministry of Finance released today a series of Value Added Tax Guidance Notes.  These documents provide general guidance and advice to the public and the business community as part of the Government’s public education campaign in respect of the VAT that will be implemented in The Bahamas on January 1, 2015.

The Guidance Notes serve to complement the General VAT Guide that was released on July 30th and provide more detailed information that is specific to particular industry sectors or in respect of specific situations and circumstances. These will be expanded and revised as necessary, based on feedback.

The eleven Guidance Notes being issued today are for:

·         Finance and Insurance services
·         Professional Services
·         Transportation of Passengers and Goods
·         Retail and Wholesale Trade
·         Construction Services
·         Land and Property
·         Medical and Healthcare Services
·         Education Services
·         Charities, Clubs and Associations
·         VAT and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement
·         The Treatment of Motor Vehicles

The additional Guidance notes that will be issued in the immediate days ahead are the following:

·         Hotel and Holiday Accommodation
·         Duty free shopping
·         Cash Accounting and Flat Rate Scheme
·         Transitional Arrangements

These documents are intended to be general in nature and provide an overview in the areas that they cover.  Persons wishing to obtain more detailed and legal information in respect of their particular situation and circumstances should also always consult the Value Added Tax Bill 2014, the draft Value Added Tax Regulations 2014.

These can all be found on the website (AND ATTACHED BELOW) of the Government of The Bahamas.  Those requiring further clarification may also contact the VAT Taxpayer Services help desk at (242) 225-7280 or the VAT Department by email at or in writing at:

Value Added Tax Department
Ministry of Finance
Gladstone Freight Terminal
Gladstone Road
P.O. Box N-4866
Nassau, N.P. The Bahamas