MoneyGram & Western Union Tax Subject Broached

BVI Platinum News
July 26, 2018 10:02 am AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
To tax or not to tax the remittance expatriates living in the Territory send home—that is a question that Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Ronnie Skelton said should be broached in the future.

The Minister, who raised the subject during the continuation of the House of Assembly on July 25, said that there is a misconception that the amendment Government set out to do on the Money Services legislation was aimed at taxing the monies residents send home to their families each month via MoneyGram and Western Union.

Comments on whether such a tax should be implemented has been ongoing for many years in informal discussions. In fact, the conversations prevailed privately following the September devastation, as persons commented on Facebook about the long lines of residents waiting to send money home as soon as it was possible to do so.

However, the Health Minister announced that he does not support such a tax move. Hon. Skelton while debating the amendment to the Money Service legislation said, “The Money Service Bill, to me this amendment is not about Western Union or MoneyGram and people sending monies out. I hear the complain that we should tax the money going out, but Madame Speaker I take a view, whether wrong or right, that that money is already taxed.”

In further elaborating his disagreement with the call for remittances to be taxed, Hon. Skelton said, “When the people work they pay Social Security, PAYE, all of these things.”

He posited that if government was ever to seek revenue via tax, that this would be not be the appropriate approach.

“The approach that we need is probably a different approach because they’re sending their money to feed their families and so I don’t think that it is the right approach.”

The Minister further explained that a balance is needed.

“They need to contribute, we need to make our money circulate in our society…so that it can have a maximum benefit…but that’s another topic Madame Speaker; and the Money Services Bill does not cover that so we will deal with that later.”
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