Premier Andrew Fahie has announced that the government has reaped more than $2 million from its legislative initiative to tax persons sending money out of the territory through remittance services such as MoneyGram and Western Union.
The legislation mandates that a seven percent tax be taken from all monies leaving the BVI through money transfer agencies.
With a year having passed since this — the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act, 2020 came into force, Fahie said the government has collected $2,314,958.21.
The Premier who is also Finance Minister reiterated that the funds collected from all transactions are earmarked for various national development initiatives in five categories – first-time land and homeowners; senior citizens home and other senior citizen initiatives; scholarships in various fields; the fishing industry; and the agriculture industry.
He said each of the five categories would receive 20 percent of overall funds taxed. That means each of those categories has received $462,991.64 so far.
Non-compliant agencies to face penalties up to $5K
The amended law said the seven percent levy collected must be paid to the Financial Services Commission (FSC) every month unless otherwise specified by the Commission.
And if an agency fails to collect the seven percent tax or submit the proceeds to the FSC on time, they may be subjected to what is described as an ‘administrative penalty’ from the Commission.
According to the Financial Services (Administrative Penalties) Regulations, the sanction that would be imposed carries a fine of up to $5,000.
The administrative penalties regulations, however, said the Commission can take “any other enforcement action” against non-compliant money transfer agencies, except to revoke an agency’s operating license as an additional penalty for the same offence.
The latest amendment to the legislation now allows for a $10,000 administrative fee to be deducted by the FSC for each quarter before the fund is remitted to the central government.
This amendment passed in the House of Assembly on Tuesday and is titled the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act, 2021.
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