Harsh penalties are in the pipeline for expatriates who find ways to avoid paying taxes in the British Virgin Islands.
In a public adress on Sunday, June 2, Premier Andrew Fahie said this crackdown is part of his government’s upcoming reform of the territory’s Immigration and Labour policies.
“We are aware of instances of work permits being renewed, but their Social Security, National Health Insurance and taxes are not being paid. We are moving to ensure that this is discontinued with violators facing heavy penalties,” said Premier Fahie during his statement on the initiative.
“This is important to enforce, in order to ensure security and to improve government finances,” he added.
In the meantime, Fahie also said his government also intends to identify and address what he said were ‘gaps’ in the existing local Labour process.
“We are also are aware of potential employers who sponsor people to come here but with no work to do; which allows them to freelance in our job market. These people, sometimes end up with three or four jobs, and also resulting in cheating the system further by not paying Social Security or their due taxes, and even while at the same time benefitting from all the social services,” he said.
“These are being looked at – and the loopholes will be blocked,” he added.
The Premier explained that the crackdown is to make the local Labour processes more accountable and to tighten the territory’s borders.
BVI will benefit
Premier Fahie said future generations of the BVI will benefit from what he now describes as his administration’s bold moves in the Labour and Immigration sector.
“As a proud BV Islander, my oath is to work in the best interest of the Territory [and] as we progress along, more details of the Immigration and Labour reform policies will be revealed and opened up for public discussion, so that citizens can have their input into the shaping of these policies,” he stated.
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