BVI News

Govt’s wire-transfer tax generating big bucks so far | Premier projects over $1.7M by year’s end

Less than two months since the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act came into effect, Premier Andrew Fahie is reporting that the policy has already begun to generate significant yields.

The legislation — which mandates that a seven percent tax be taken from all monies leaving the BVI through money transfer agencies — has resulted in several thousand being collected in taxes per week, so far.

At this rate, Premier Fahie said government will collect more than $1.7 million from local money transfers by the end of this year.

“The slowest week thus far was the second week in May, around there, and that week was $843,670.03. If you just take seven percent out of that week, you have $59,056.90. With about 30 more weeks to go for that seven percent, you would calculate it to be $1,771,707.06,” he said while speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday night, June 16.

While reiterating that the monies collected from all transactions is earmarked for various national development initiatives, the Premier added: “You divide that [money] into the five categories — 20 percent going into the senior citizen’s home and to help the seniors, 20 percent going to first-time landowners and homeowners, 20 percent going to scholarships in specified areas, 20 percent going to improving our fishing industry and 20 percent to improve our agriculture industry. Can I tell you that even in the slowest time, by the end of the year, if it stays like that — which it has not — the minimum each one of them will be able to put in it will be $354,341.41?”

You cannot talk, you have to lead

Premier Fahie then noted the kind of revenue that the territory would have benefited from had the amendment been done sooner.

“Had we been doing that for years and we had made that decision, those would have had at a minimum of $5 million apiece. This tells me you cannot keep talking, you have to lead! Every option will always have its criticism, and that’s true democracy,” he stated.

The Premier made those statements while responding to the opposition his government has been receiving for a different piece of legislation — the Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Act that is still being deliberated in the House.  

He reminded legislators that his government had received a similarly strong opposition when the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act was introduced. 

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  1. vip heckler says:

    It seems like we could afford the bodyguards now

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    • Lol says:

      WhatsApp just started to transfer money to Brazil through the app….I hope they make it worldwide, so the 7% can kick rocks

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      • Rubber Duck says:

        Technology is going to kill a lot of the rip offs by governments , banks, telecoms and others. It will be possible to transfer money by what’s app or other electronic means. Online banks will kill the inefficient rip off artists that currently own the BVIs banks. Space link will provide cheap,fast, available everywhere internet to do it. The government should get its head out of its backside.

      • Lila says:

        Stop giving the government ideas to stop your program. Stop making the government worse stop putting them talk on social media

  2. Truth says:

    This is the poor mans tax. When will they apply this taxation to the elite who sends hundreds of thousands to millions out the territory.

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    • Yup says:

      All the taxes imposed by the Belongers are poor man’s taxes. They scheme of ways to take what little the poor and expat earns. They call themselves Christians and are against gambling but to take from the poor is ok. They will all rot in hell.

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      • Lost says:

        @yup.what nonsense are you talking. So many of us expatriates come here and find every way to scheme the system that the government put in place to help its people. Why are we doing this to them and then turn around and put the blame on these good people. What kind of people are children was born here and i want a good life for them.we came here overcrowded their schools there health system we even overcrowded their beautiful little island and we still trying to take over their culture. What kind of people are we?? Yes i am a Caribbean national from but the things i see happening today in this country i called home it hurt me to my bones. I didn’t come here to take over .i came to work and live happily between these beautiful people. I have never meet anyone that is kinder and gentler than a bvi gosh everything the government do to help its own people we have a problem Vincent Wheatley i am waiting on the labour and immigration reform. A lot of us hardly pay any income tax because we at minimum wage from 10 yrs and more ago.even when our salary increases labour department didn’t know about it. A person just told me yesterday that they are not working and don’t know when they would ever get a job but she can’t go back to her home country because they do not have anything there.many are in this same situation. And yes i call here my home for 31 years.

        • Here We Go Again says:

          You sound like you from here, you lie to make a point which is a lie. We all come here to make a better life, black Caribbean and even the white man. You sew the seed of hatred, racism and inequality. The same way people from here migrate to the US of A to make a better life and to get their babies for better opportunity. Don’t call the kettle black when yours is blacker

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          • Shut Up! says:

            The difference is we don’t go fighting for rights in other men country. the moment we are treated bad, we come back home. And most of us are humble in another man’s country and hardly cause any trouble to them. I understand some expats get treated bad but so does the average bvislander. But some expats get treated way better than us in our own country.

      • @Yup says:

        Poor men don’t have millions to transfer overseas weekly. Some do it while telling landlords they cannot pay their rent because they are not working. I personally believe that using another man’s country as a cash cow to send out every penny this tax is not a bad idea at all.

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    • Lila says:

      Dem don’t even give back tax return

  3. NB says:

    No matter how much it generates, it’s wrong. The 7% the government collect is dirty money. It’s stolen funds from the poor. Don’t try justify it.

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    • Eyes says:

      Poor people my a** they sending out and would not pay their rent . It should have been more than 7% . Almost a million dollars left this territory in a week but they still running around about stimulus Marlon you better stop talking s**t and open your eyes and the 300,000.00 they give you they still want out of that after sending there’s to their home land .we will always get played we needed to adopt Cayman islands style .

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      • Yes send them out.. says:

        I hope the colonizer who brought your black a$$ here decides to send you back to your home land and take over what they conquered when they came here….you acting like here is yours…its called the British Virgin islands so it belongs to the Queen and her descendants…NOT YOU!

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        • concerned citizen says:

          Belong to who Queen and who descendants. You can tell you know nothing. We are not things, we are human, so no one cannot own us. If you have kids, I am so sorry for them. You still not free. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.

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          • Expats says:

            You are owned by the queen dumbdumb

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          • concerned citizen says:

            To Expats, you are the dumb dumb. I know who I am, The queen cannot and does not own me. That’s why you here in another mans country fighting them. I can tell you are a jackA…

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      • NB says:

        May you choke on all that hate you swallowed

        • Truth be told! says:

          Did that hurt you to hear that..BV insiders love to use the word indigenous, but the truth is you ARE NOT. You were brought here just like the men and women from other islands who you SPEW HATE TOO. So dumb, who told you that that your ancestral uncle did go to Jamaica and your father came here?

          You love every other race but yours because you proudly carry the name of your colonizer who you think loves you so much but you still can’t get help almost 3 years after IRMA. You suffer from Short term memory and your a coon!

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  4. ???? says:

    The first month since the transfer centers open hardly gone by and doubt they send in any money as yet but Premier done add it up. Wow. My friend, you know how much people open western union accounts and sending their money themselves now?

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  5. Rubber Duck says:

    A repressive tax on poor black people. Shamefull.

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  6. vip heckler says:

    This is whats called reverse robin hood

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    • Chicken Little says:

      The Premier and his gang just helped fuel the underground market to move money. People have found other ways to send money. Let’s see them tax that. Set of jokey leaders.

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  7. Wise up poor people says:

    People use the online transfer it is way cheaper and no tax, please people educate ayoself and learn, it’s only $4 to send 300

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  8. Lost says:

    NB how is it dirty money?? A large portion of this money was never tax and social security and nhi was never paid on it. Come again . I watch many of these people sending out money are vacationers and sex workers and yes sex workers. Most of these people from these Caribbean islands that come here to visit families and friends are working in bars and clubs not paying a dime in taxes so please keep quiet and let the government make money to help its people. Also those charter companies hire a lot of workers that are here saying they vacationing. I know for fact that many of our outer islands with hotels bring in workers for weeks upon weeks and never pay a dime in any taxes. I thank the government of the day to implement such a few . It was absolutely necessary. As next yr turns please implement the fees for garbage disposal like many other Caribbean islands including the one i was born.

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  9. SMH says:

    Wow! That’s a huge amount of $$$ leaving the Economy.

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    • It’s misleading says:

      The money isn’t ‘leaving the economy’. People come to provide services. Building home, hotels and so on. They then pay three taxes on the money they earn for the services they provided to the territory. The territory makes additional money from the services provided.
      So to think of it as people picking up money and taking it away it’s ludicrous.
      Just imagine you taking leaving the territory for vacation and the government saying they want 7% of the money you leaving with. This scenario is similar to this tax. It’s criminal

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      • Lost says:

        How do you know that they paid taxes social security and nhi?? Just last yr January i know of one situation out of many that one person was on his 14th yr renewing work permit and the last 9 yrs he didn’t pay any income tax social security and nhi. Listen just go sid down with mouth close. My question is as a person from another Caribbean island why are we coming here dictating everything for these people . I am glad such fees was implemented and it must happen on garbage disposal just like my country and yours.every household must pay a few on garbage disposal full stop

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        • Non sense says:

          This argument had no relevance. It’s the employer’s responsibility to deduct taxes from salary. And it’s the government’s job to make sure it’s happening. You can’t blame the expat workers for this.

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        • lol says:

          who in their right mind gonna pay for garbage disposal when they can dump in themself…dwl

  10. Tongue Fu says:

    The Man boasting about the money too. Rob da hood economics. Take from the poor to feed to the rich. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

    Now we have persons trying to apply for unemployment benefits only to find out that their employers collected their SS but never paid it in to the system but no-one is being prosecuted for this theft.

    Rob da hood economics.

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  11. STRUGGLING says:

    I am a struggling mom with 2 children ages 18 and 20 in college abroad. After taking care of bills and living expenses I have to send money away to my children for their upkeep and rent and not forgetting tuition. Its hard enough on me. When I think of it there are other persons like me who is facing this same ordeal or even worst. This extra money we have to find just to send money abroad, its just not fair. Mr. Premier I don’t know if you care about us single moms who have to take care of our children who are abroad and still rely on us, I don’t know if you care of those who have to take care of their parents who are old and need an income from us their children. Maybe if you were like us you would be singing like us. Its robbery the only country or island who takes tax for just sending money abroad. You cloud have gone to the big cooperation who send/wire thousands of money abroad, sometimes even more than the money they pay their staff altogether locally. But instead you have come after little people like us who works hard to earn a little dollar.

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  12. Hmm says:

    Premier you are Kneeling on our necks

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  13. Still no Justification says:

    The monies leaving already had an existing tax that has now been stepped up, that right there is greed, simply wanting more.

    Like 11
  14. Totko says:

    Estimates are 1.7 mil siphoned by the end of year. I recall hearing an estimated 89 mil going out per year using these transaction mediums.
    Hmmm. 89-1.7=87.3
    Big difference in projections.

    It is an oppressive scheme aimed at people with little means, skimming dollars already taxed. If one is talking about people here illegally and sending non taxed money away, then the sex workers, bartenders, clubs etc. are coming in under who’s trade licence’s allowing entry in the first place?

  15. Not nice says:

    Imagine people work so hard to help their families back home, I know a lot of children’s tears going to be on this money they are taking from them. We work hard in another man country to build our homes , now we have to give 20 percent to first time homeowners, aren’t you ashamed? Ye that fight against poor people will perish in the end. It’s a wicked and disgraceful act that expats must now help bvi I landers to build their houses while some of us live in shed back home.Tears falling

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  16. Poor says:

    We will survive there is other ways we can send our money to our family

  17. Overworked and underpaid says:

    What an utterly disgraceful and shameful thing to push out your chest and boast about, you should be ashamed of yourself . This further perpetuates the belief that people should come here and work then go back with nothing ,after all the dollar that you earn belongs to them rightfully…. it is after all their country as they are fond of saying. So we are suppose to help you build your houses, take care of your senior citizens and assist with your children’s education what do we get in return? To be paid with one hand and they take it back with the other. God narr sleep and the sweat and tears of many are on this money.

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  18. IslandGirl says:

    God forgive you Mr. Fahie for this oppressive downislander tax.

    We can’t breathe.

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  19. Lies says:

    Lies. Those businesses not nearly as full as they used to be.

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  20. one love says:

    The money is not THERE’S it belong to the (USA)so take your damn knees off our backs now we’re giving you the 7% what next the USA is not taxing the BVI.

  21. US Treasury says:

    Please remit all the US dollars collected by this 7% tax on US currency to the Dept. of the Treasury, Washington, D.C., USA.

  22. Excuse Me says:

    Somebody needs to fact check the Premier. His reporting is totally off. No way $800k plus left the territory during the second week of May In money services. Don’t pay that any mind. As a matter of fact I’m sure the FSC will report the true figures when the time comes. Stay tuned.

  23. Shameful says:

    This sin against the foreigners among us will not go unpunished. Vengence is mine thus says the Lord. As you sow you shall reap. Stand back everyone and watch the Hand of God on those who choose to oppress the foreigners among us. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Watch.

  24. Mary says:

    Great move BVI

  25. greedy set of ppl says:

    well in that case , i not sending out no money, ayo to greedy, the litte we make ayo trying to squeeze out every little penny.

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  26. Diaspora says:

    Though this may be an unpopular position and will attract fire and fury from many, I’m not averse to government assessing a fee on money leaving the country thru wire transfer. One of the argument against the 7% fee is that taxes were already paid on the money sent out. Some truth to that statement but not totally true. Money acquired through illegal means and under the table actions are not taxed, ie, working without a permit. Anyway, governments universally taxed money that has been already been taxed; it is called double taxation.

    Moreover, to deliver services, ie, medical care, construct roads, pick up trash, police/fire, schools, social services……etc, government needs to raise revenue. Government primary sources of raising revenues are taxes, fees, fines, interest income……..etc. Government receives little to no Intergovernmental aid. Agree that government must be more efficient and effective in collecting money owed. It needs to issue a deadline for dead beats and cheats to come forward and pay up or else.

    No doubt this will mash some corns on family and friends feet so don’t hold your breath. Thus, the wire transfer fee is a viable and reasonable means of raising revenue. Is 7% reasonable?

    Nonetheless, all that said the fee must be applied fairly. What is good for the goose must be good for the gander. If the lil man sending a few hundred dollars home to take care of his/her family thru WU or MG is charged 7%, so too should the big shots, elites, 1%, businesses…..etc transferring money thru banks, on line……..etc. Of course, businesses will tact on that 7% to goods and services sold, under the guise of the cost of doing business. The lil man and poor suffering consumer cannot win for losing.

  27. neck above water says:

    i use western union to pay for raw materials to use in my products i sell for a living. now in addition to custom fees when coming in i have to pay more fees to get those materials. now i am forced to increase my cost.

  28. Looking on says:

    8 months at $89 million a year is $59.33 million. $1.7 million of that figure is 2.86%. So the government is NOT getting the anticipated 7%. Is this because expats are not sending money by transfer? Hmmm. I notice Western Union always looking empty these days!

  29. BVIslander says:

    Look! As a BVI national I am sick and tired of hearing my fellow black people from the Caribbean who were fortunate to be allowed into the BVI to work and live amongst us complaining about poor man tax and every other complaints. There is a simple solution here. You can choose to humble yourself and accept and abide my laws of the BVI including accepting the 7% tax imposed on foreign transfers Via the local money services businesses or leave and go back to your country of origin. You have a choice, none of you are be held here in the BVI against your will. You came here seeking a better life, if you feel that the 7% tax is too much of a burden and it exceeds the benefit of your earnings here and it’s no longer worthwhile to remain in the BVI then leave at your earliest convenience. BVIslanders cannot go into any other Caribbean country to criticize and make noise and complain about policies implemented by those governments. Matter of fact we would be out of order to do so. So tell you what, shut up or leave..

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