|Government raises fees for business licenses|
|Thursday, 07 April 2011 12:20|
As promised earlier this year, the Revenue Control Unit has now raised all fees for business licenses.
A review has been underway of all government fees as part of the ongoing revenue study looking for ways to close the budget deficit gap. According to the study, many government fees have not been keeping up with inflation.
In some cases fees have not been raised in more than 15 years, including those for business licenses, though there has been 36 percent inflation.
The Business Licensing Regulations were amended this month to adjust fees for all business licensing categories by 35-percent across the board, taking the minimum license fee from $150 to $300.
Carrying a valid business license is required for all businesses that operate within the country. Licenses are issued throughout the year, but always require renewal on April 1.
While the new fees were being updated in the computer systems the department put a freeze on renewal licenses. Now the government is asking all applications for new or renewed business licenses be made by April 28.
“All business license holders who are looking forward to continuing their operations in the Turks and Caicos Islands during the 2011-12 fiscal year are reminded that their business licenses can be renewed effective April 1,” the Revenue Control Unit stated on March 30. “All business licenses must be renewed by April 28, 2011. Business licenses that are not renewed as of April 28 will be subject to a 10 percent per month penalty.”
The unit also reminds all businesses that all arrears associated with licenses must be paid prior to renewing any licenses.
The Revenue Control Unit says it will be closely monitoring business renewals to detect instances where businesses are operating without a valid license, and remedial action undertaken according to the law.
More changes are expected for the Business Licensing Unit as it is scheduled to move under the umbrella of TCInvest sometime this year.
In the 2011/2012 budget a new simplified structure for business licensing is also planned to be introduced from July.
If executed as suggested in the revenue study, this will include a reduction in the number of fees as well as a more efficient charges and fees system as well as a revamp of the classification of businesses based on economic sectors such as primary, secondary and services in addition to the size of businesses such as small, medium and large.
Applications for new business and renewed licenses should be presented to the appropriate Revenue Control Units as follows:
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