BVI News

Heavy penalties coming for non-taxpaying expats, says Premier

The building that houses the Social Security Board and NHI offices.

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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41 Comments

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  1. son of the soil says:

    Well it’s about time

    Like 15
    Dislike 2
    • Winston says:

      What makes it even worse is that many of these ” freelance” sponsored expats are running around operating as they have a business or company and charging accordingly. This makes them extremely unfair competition for those of us who are running legitimate businesses and paying all the associated costs to do so.

      Let’s start to report them !

  2. HILARIOUS!! says:

    It is well known which sector of our society ignores paying their taxes – these are significant employers of the island.

    Like 23
    Dislike 4
  3. Lisa says:

    That is long overdue. However, it must start with the people who lie and sponsor expats but have no work for them. My handy man and I fell out because he had been asking me to sponsor his niece and nephew and when I told him that I do not have anything for them to do, he told me I “don’t have to worry about that”. I have no intensions of doing that because I do not want to be held accountable for anyone’s taxes, NHI and SS if I do not have them gainfully employed.

    Like 23
    Dislike 4
    • MS says:

      This a great point to make as one stated long overdue. Paying taxes are important for one of the survival of the BVI and building Roads, Obtaining new buses and sheltering them with a terminal that is what I call advancement. There are many other meaningful services needed since the 2017 hurricane disaster. Yes paying your taxes is a very important part of ones duty. Annual taxes must be paid as a duty to the home land. stiff – stiffer must be implemented so that when receiving those tax payment helps to used for such as hiring more police on the force to combat CRIME AND VIOLENCE. Is used in bringing back the BVI before 2017 that day that things changed the island that one could have never imagined. No Question ASKED Pay your responsibility – Pay what you own for the opportunity of having a job and housing. This tax can be used to build better roads, the upkeep of all that is in place to make the BVI also play a part in the arena with the other Caribbean Islands. BVI Strong – Stronger. There will always annual fear during hurricane season and one must be better prepared paying up one’s responsibility in your duty of having the opportunity for being one of the LUCKY ones living in the Territory of the BVI.

  4. Bobby says:

    Come on employers pay up…..
    Or jail time soon come. Oh wait this only applies to expatriates, lol how could i have missed that.
    Funny how the bvi law only applies to others except for sons of the soil. This law is being violated on both ends, employers and employees.
    Why only penalize employees?????
    Some employers, and you know who they are still haven’t paid over 5years of contributions that they have deducted from their employees check. It’s a real shame how the binoculars are only focused one direction. Real Leaders are fair not one sided, if you want to make a difference be fair or else you’re just towing the line of the rest in front of you.

    Like 51
    Dislike 3
    • Smile says:

      ain’t employers alone..

      Many expats are sponsored without a job they searching jobs and when they do get jobs they don’t contribute to there nhi and ss.. the persons whom sponsored them only care about when they renewing is person paying them there lil change they don’t care whether they paying them stuff or not.. i am happy this come in place let them go brag now since they here they never pay a nhi must less ss. there money there money alot of them will cant renew bc since they here 3 and 4 years never paid i hope they let them pay b4 renew.

      Like 7
      Dislike 5
      • Carli says:

        Right! One elderly gentleman told me that he has a lady sponsored and he sees her once a year, when she bring the work permit papers for him to sign. Is that not nonsense. People at that Labour Department know the old man and full well know that this person does not work for him, but they ask no questions. The department acts like a rubber stamp.

        • yes saw says:

          so true..imagine a contractor hiring a lady now we speaking about a well dress make up 24-7 lady u think she going to do construction..nope. check the bars them they right there bartender..look into this my Government

    • Millie says:

      I cannot see how this applies to “only expats” when it is the BVI belongers who are procuring work permits for the expats for whom they have no work. If expats are not paying their taxes, then it is their sponsors who are at fault and not the expats unless they are procuring their own work permits. Some people are so brain washed that they fail to try to understand the process.

      When people pick up an expat from the Purcell entrance or across from the gas station and take them to work, what taxes, SS and NHI these expats are paying?

  5. On the Ball says:

    This is great news because a number of them are not contributing to the Government when it comes to paying their taxes.
    I agree these taxes must be in good standing before their Work Permits can be renewed.
    Every day, Fridays especially the lines for Money Gram and Western Union long but they’re not paying their dues to the Country.
    Some asking about reimbursement for what they paid for documents for Resident and Belongers.
    Government only got some of what you all owe, pay the rest that’s outstanding. Pay up.

    Like 12
    Dislike 10
    • Oh la la says:

      See that is your issue! You’re watching the expat lining up at money gram, obviously upset to see them sending their hard earned money home to help their family. They can’t have nothing apparently. No status here, drive their own vehicle, nor send money home. There’s a name for that am sure you know it well.

      Like 9
      Dislike 2
    • Damn if u do damn if u don't says:

      They can’t get rights, them cant bring them family and now they cant even send home their money…u guys make bvi ilanders look bad and selfish. You guys are who give the country a bad image

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  6. Concern says:

    Why u coming on so strong with expat ? Should the boss be penalized too ? U people are putting so much pressure on expat it’s problem for them to get status after certain amount of year’s and now u want to pressure them about social security and NHI when some of these boss deducting money from our pay ! Look just get straight to the point and tell us to leave your country and stop the hypocrisy ,

    Like 30
    Dislike 5
    • Done says:

      The message is very clear here. Expats are no longer welcome. That’s the direction the government has chosen to take. Good luck with this kind of approach. Might look good to some in the short run, but wait till you see the consequences resulting which WILL result out of that in a few years.

      Like 27
      Dislike 6
      • @Done says:

        Your thinking is dead wrong and unenlightened.

        In fact, allow us, BVIslanders, (or even a single individual) to come into your house and take it over, eat, drink and sleep at free will and don’t contribute nothing to your household. Are thinking deeply yet?

        Now, transfer that same logic to the national level. Are you following? Hope so.

        Every country looks out for and must look out for its own into perpituity.

        Disagree or dilike the man or not, that was and is the same philosophy behind Donald Trump’s wall.

        Meanwhile, many here loves them some Trump, but have a problem ensuring that BVI politics, culture, economicsand other resources remain firmly within BVIslanders control into perpituity.

        Like 11
        Dislike 10
        • Done says:

          You actually just underlined my point by not understanding the long term consequences one bit, my friend, and trying to take this “conversation” completely out of context. Let’s talk again in a few years and see where you then are with your small minded logic. You really have no clue what you’re talking about and just throwing around some phrases you probably picked up at one of those highly “intellectual” tv shows. Keep going like that and everything is going to be just fine.

          • What! says:

            Nothing will change in a few years except we hope that people migrating to the BVI will obey the laws and that Government will have succession planning.

      • Truth! says:

        Expats need to take care, as all news seems to be saying they are no longer welcome!!

        Like 4
        Dislike 5
  7. Albion says:

    Interesting. Under BVI law it is the employers who are responsible for the payment of payroll tax, social security and NHI.

    But the government wants to ‘crack down’ and punish expat employees when their employers break the law.

    So in case anyone missed the very clear message: if a BVIslander employer breaks the law, their expat employee will be punished for it.

    That’s a pretty clear message.

    Like 34
    Dislike 3
    • proof says:

      expat workers keep proof of your payslips. just last week a friend of mine was refused by NHI because her boss id not pay it. but they take it out her pay. this wrong all around

      Like 25
      Dislike 1
    • Not So says:

      It seems to be like Government is trying to get sponsors/so called employers to pay SS, NHI and PAYE for those individuals they claim are working for them. However, some people are so bitter they cannot see the benefit in this for them. Perhaps this is because some are guilty. Who the cap fit let them wear it. If you are not paying your dues as required under the laws of the land to which you have migrated, then start so that you can receive whatever you may become entitled to.

  8. Reality says:

    I think there is a huge misconception here. The payment of payroll tax, NHI and SS contributions is an employer obligation that also applies to persons who are self-employed. In order to pay into the system, you have to be registered and you cannot be registered unless you have authorisation to do business in BVI. This is either under a trade licence or a financial services approval that waives the trade licence requirement. It is the same for self-employed persons. If you are an expat who does not have a work permit or are unlawfully freelancing on the back of a work permit, you surely won’t be in a position to register to make payments. If the expat is on a work permit, it should be simple to cross check with Labour to see what was declared in the work permit application process compared with what payments are being made on the payroll tax, NHI and SS sides. This is very easy to check and to lay the blame at the feet of expats for gaming a system facilitated by their local employers is unfair. Somebody must have them here unless they are here completely illegally. I am not saying that expats are not here working illegally but that is a different issue that needs to be fixed at the level of the employer where there is a work permit, and at the level of immigration where there is not.

    Like 19
  9. You too says:

    How about the non-tax paying belongers listed on the property tax rolls? Should they not be prosecuted for not meeting their obligations?

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
    • Out of Turn says:

      Of course, they should penalized and they are, but that is not the topic we are dealing with now. While land owners are not prosecuted, they are made to pay huge late fees.

  10. island man says:

    I understand your point Mr. Premier but what about locals too who are freelancing I have mentioned this before. How will NHI and SS calculate the local freelancers when they have no idea how much they are working for.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  11. John says:

    Some as dishwasher permit for $300 but they Mason & carpenter working for $150 perday

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  12. BVI says:

    One of the most sensible things I have heard from this Premier following his debacle to grant status to expats who have been here 15 years.

    Like 4
    Dislike 14
  13. The other side says:

    Great Mr. Premier but what about the local business owners who collects tax, NHI and SS from workers and do not pay over a cent for years. My wife tried to apply for naturalization last year but could not because she found out her employer has not paid anything for her for over two years, and he still can renew his business license every year. This is theft of employees contribution and taxes.

    Like 40
    Dislike 1
  14. really says:

    well now the premier will be hated by the locals because the are the one who not paying up.

    Like 7
    Dislike 2
  15. Expat says:

    Mr. Premier I agree with you. Mr. Premier I am an expat and was sick, Social Security didn’t give me any attention simply because am an expat. However I will continue to pay my dues.

  16. son of the soil says:

    That free ride that ayo were getting coming to an end soon soon

    Like 2
    Dislike 6
    • Okay says:

      What free ride are you talking about????? You guys are the one who trying to ride on expat back, because most of you don’t even know how to move a bottle of water,y’all don’t learn remember this land don’t belong to none of us, we’re here for a few minutes until the Lord is ready for us

      Like 3
      Dislike 3
  17. Nonsense says:

    IF YOU SAY ONE, SAY TWO…IF THEY ARE GOING TO HOLD EXPAT EMPLOYEES ACCOUNTABLE THEN THE SAME SHOULD BE APPLIED TO BVI EMPLOYERS WHO ARE DEDUCTING THE TAXES AND SOCIAL SECURITY FROM WAGES AND NOT PAYING. THIS IS OUTRIGHT THEFT. IF IT’S BAD FOR EXPATS “TO BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS THEM” THEN IT IS DOWNRIGHT TREACHEROUS FOR BVI EMPLOYERS TO DENY THEIR OWN COUNTRY OF THE TAXES WHICH ARE DUE TO IT. FURTHERMORE IT IS CRUEL TO EMPLOYEES. SICK OF THIS ONE SIDED APPROACH! AND YES IM FROM RIGHT HERE. WRONG IS WRONG AND RIGHT IS RIGHT. BE FAIR.

  18. Windy says:

    Easy, just deport them and their family. Don’t make it complicated.

  19. ReX FeRaL says:

    They are afraid to approach their friends who dont pay taxes to collect it. Targeting the expat employee is wrong Andrew. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

  20. Oh Man says:

    Why cant people understand who are responsible for paying NHI, SS and PAYE. If they did they would not be so disgruntled.

  21. CW says:

    Good luck with you TOURISM AND BANKING SMH

  22. Law and Order says:

    All of you lazy, evil, expat hater locals who sympathise with the expat and help them to get work permit even though you do not have work for them to do now they saying is you to blame. Talk about biting the hand that feed you.

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