BVI News

Over $2M collected from gov’t money transfer tax so far

Western Union and MoneyGram are popular money-transfer agencies in the BVI. Government has imposed a 7% tax on all monies leaving the territory through wire transfers.

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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44 Comments

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  1. Truth says:

    It’s so sad that this government is continuing to tax the scrap out of poor people sending money to feed there family. Why didn’t they also implement this
    Tax for the people sending millions of dollars out of the territory through the banks?

    Like 45
    Dislike 5
    • ha says:

      2 million aint no lil bit of money

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
      • Wow says:

        This is just the strangest tax. You are taxing people for spending money they worked for out of the country. Remember the money was already taxed.
        If you leave to go on vacation you wouldnt expect to pay tax on the money you taking with you right?

    • Captain Flint says:

      This money taken form people who earn the lowest and sending back to their families to buy food and pay bills. It would be more an achievement to take away property and cash from the drug smugglers – none of who get convicted or fined at all – they get away with murder – literally.

      Like 19
    • What says:

      What a miserable lot the Belongers are. They deserve every peril and hardship that comes their way.

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
      • Belonger says:

        God be with you! You judge us all. Leave judgement for God because the ill you wish for others may surely be yours.

    • Yup says:

      I was able to transfer $22k last year via my bank electronically. Why anyone still uses wire transfers is beyond me.

      Get an account and you can send money TAX FREE!

      • Captain Flint says:

        You pompous a**. Not everyone can get a bank account and not everyone has $22k to send and because if you have one it costs more to send by bank – the lowest charge being $69 for $1 up to $10k. And you have to wait inline for hours. The amounts being sent out via moneygram and western union can be as low as $100. One of my friends sends home $500 a month to his family. It now costs him an extra $32 on top of the fees. Its a tax on the poorest people in the country – normally other islanders. Why doesn’t the Government charge company tax instead. By charging company tax the $2 million could have been raised very quickly. But wait that would depend on the local businesses paying their payroll tax, SSB and NHI in the first place. How much is owed in these by local businesses? Would be interesting to see if its over $2 million.

  2. Well says:

    My only comment is don’t wish bad on anyone. Pray that they reset their ways.

    Like 10
  3. Hooray says:

    Great income. Suit them island people fine

    Like 3
    Dislike 33
    • Me says:

      Go pray …seems like an island person take your…

      Like 11
      Dislike 2
    • Puss and Dog in there says:

      Suit island people?? You sound like an idiot.When the government giving fake fishermen and farmers big cash off of poor people back you didn’t say nothing. This is a rat race so you continue rejoicing for bull when ppl suffering.

      Like 22
  4. Wickedness says:

    God don’t sleep nor slumber, I wouldn’t boast on that it’s robbery in high places. People turn it over to Jesus and smile the rest of the day.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  5. such Rejoicing is Evil says:

    Oh my God! Mr Premier you mean you are rejoicing and you are glad in such evil? Thought you were a good fearing man who loved his neighbor and even talking about BVI Love, where is the love Mr. Premier.

    You mean you are reaping off people like this in high broad day light? Oh my God and the hurtful part is the bank not even giving people 7% on their hard earned money and here this government reaping off 7% of people’s money that they are sending for the upkeep of their family? Oh No mr. Premier, please reconsider for God sake and your conscience sake and for the benefit of humanity.

    People working hard for their money, put it in the bank and getting 0.004percent interest and here you are taking a full 7 percent from their income? How heartless can you be, yet talking about love and having prayer service almost every month, what is the purpose of those prayer service? After all Mr. Premier, please hear our cry and reconsider this evil, if we must pay tax, which we already pay 8% to your treasury, so now we are paying 15% of our income to the BVI Gov and the bank giving us nothing on our savings.

    Mr. Premier I believe you have a better heart than this, don’t let the demons get the best of you, the love of money is the root of all evil, and this is evil, evil to the highest degree. In these hard times the best you should do is free us from this chain of greed and hatred. We already paying our fair share of takes, considering 8% income tax, NHI, Social Security. After all, I believe this bleeding the very heart of God. Please Sar, consider and release us. This is an act of theft, hatred, evil and clear fraud.

    Mr. premier, we wait to hear from you as a God fearing honorable gentleman. This tax should be eliminated. This is the only country doing this evil. The money agents already taking their cut, why not charge the money agents? but then, they too will pass it unto us. Please release us now. Thank you Sar

    Like 23
    Dislike 3
    • Prophet says:

      This is gonna be my prayer, Dear lord remove anyone and anything that is blocking prosperity and bringing poverty to your nation. Remember those who continue to tax the poor and needy may they be put to shame and dishonor that seek to hurt and stop the bread of hard working people, amen.

  6. Wide Eyed says:

    I am pretty sure that you are living here and not from here according to your post. How dare you call disaster upon us. It is a god thing you do not rule the atmosphere and that God is not like you. I say death to every negative and wicked word you have spoken over us in Jesus Name. You are the wicked one.
    Can you tell us how to run our country, yes why not tax the exportation of monies, we have a right to do so. So we must allow everyone to come and rape our country, take what they want and leave? can we tell the leaders of other Caribbean countries or any other country for that matter how to run it? Don’t try to run ours and walk your own. If you do not like what is been done in this country feel free to take the first plane/boat back out. No one force anyone to come here. So if you are here we welcome you live in peace amongst us, enjoy the benefits etc and shut up. By the way my father also came here to make a better living, but he abided by the laws of the country and reap the benefits.

    Like 7
    Dislike 27
  7. Not trur says:

    It is impossible to have collected over $2mil in a 7% tax scheme by the Foy. That means that over $30mil would have had to be sent out of the Territory. No way that this has occurred. Show the proof. If it’s true, then Western Union is the best business on the island

    Like 16
    Dislike 2
  8. Scrooge Vibes says:

    Imagine the nerve of someone boasting about how much they milked from hard working people. And the “island people” bashing will begin on the other news site shortly….smh

    Like 22
    Dislike 3
  9. @bad minded.... says:

    I agree with you comment that it is pretty wicked that the government has seen fit to go ahead with imposing this legislation after not only the hurricanes that has devastated the islands but also during this pandemic where so many are suffering financially, and that it is poor taste for him to make this announcement. However, I will not agree that it is fitting to wish another hurricane on the island because it will be yourself and others that are in the position you are in and those who are worse off who will feel the impact most, financially and otherwise.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  10. Omg says:

    Expats working hard to build the country and take care of their family with the high cost of living in the country and still yet they are being victims of high way robbery and you can boost about it omg

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  11. Suppressant says:

    What is more sad is this supposed hack masquerading as nespaper/ or worse, journaists, are deleting comments/opinions of the people they’re supposed to serve and cater to. It’s a f**ked up world. Dog eats dog.

  12. Good says:

    Honestly… This had need to happen from long time.

    Like 2
    Dislike 12
  13. heckler says:

    I cant believe that the VIP is for the so called small man? Infact sheep said there are no poor people in the BVI….Not after all those stimulus checks i’ve seen circulating on that list

  14. picko says:

    Picko mott hit them a*S. Set of wicked people.

  15. $$ says:

    Don’t worry your back is again the wall so you takeing it out on the poor people God is not dead he is still alive foxy keep counting everything has an ending

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  16. POTUS says:

    Thanks BVI for collecting 2.3 million USD by a tax on US currency leaving the BVI. Please remit the 2.3 million USD to our treasury in Washington DC forthwith. Failure to comply will result in the USA withdrawing all its US currency from the BVI so it can revert to the BVI Life tokens digital currency.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  17. Financial Apartheid says:

    Government should be ashamed at this tax. This is a tax on the poor, disenfranchised migrant workers. People round here like to remind the Brits about their history of colonial oppression but see no irony in the treatment of our cheap labor. BVI do better and treat people with love and kindness not trying to further rip them off.

    Like 13
    Dislike 2
  18. CONTINUE TO KIKI SIR says:

    That money you made off the backs of the poor that can hardly afford a loaf of bread. How can you sleep well at nights knowing that you give away THE STIMULUS MONEY TO YOUR CRONIES AND PEOPLE WHO DID NOT DESERVE OR NEEDED A CHECK. YOU AND YOUR CRONIES NEED AND DESERVE TO SIT IN A COLD JAIL CELL FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS. THAT WAS A BIG INJUSTICE YOU DID TO THE PEOPLE OF THE BVI THAT YOU PROFESS TO LOVE AND CARE ABOUT.

  19. In shock says:

    How the F**k some of the people on the list end up with stimulus checks? COI, YOU NEED TO LOOK INTO THIS, THIS IS A DAMN SHAME. Wowwwww, THE LEADER OF THE COUNTRY IS A COLD BLOODED J***S.

  20. In shock says:

    How the F**k some of the people on the list end up with stimulus checks? COI, YOU NEED TO LOOK INTO THIS, THIS IS A DAMN SHAME. Wowwwww, THE LEADER OF THE COUNTRY IS A COLD BLOODED JUDAS.

  21. Citizen says:

    Great news. Now go and collect that $6 Mil plus that was given away, to people with no farm and no boat.

  22. Ottis says:

    If a poor worker in the BVI purchases digital currency like the one Fahie promoted (actually that one turned out like BVI Airlines – don’t purchase that one) then they could transfer their bitcoins or ether to their relatives back home.

  23. So Far says:

    We have a Minister of death, a Doctor Doolittle and a cold blooded Judas.

  24. wow says:

    you mean we finally have a government that looking out for the interest of the bvi.look at the kind of money that leave these shores in the past yr.my gosh 33 million dollars. wow.am almost sure half of that wasn’t taxed before it get to these money transfer agencies. premier let’s put on the tax for garbage disposal. it’s well overdue. put that tax on every electricity bill just like the other Caribbean Islands. garbage is a serious issue in this territory and it need serious attention. stiffer penalties for violators. please do something about it now. Virgin islanders the 2.3 million that your government make is from 33 million that leave the shores of the bvi never to return. what a leader with vision we have leading this country. don’t mind the noise that noise is heard and seen in every Caribbean Island.not just here.but the people who can’t have it there way will always make noise but they are the minority. all they do is make noise.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
    • @Wow says:

      A tax on garbage is a great idea: everyone produces garbage and wealthy folks (who consume more) will pay more. Similarly, a tax on electricity encourages people to consume less: that’s fair.

      But this tax on money transfer penalises poor migrant workers who send small amounts out of the country to support their folks back home. Rich folks who send larger amounts will do so via expensive bank transfer and suffer no tax. Poor migrant workers are effectively not allowed to put down roots, buy property or invest in the Territory because of the protectionist policies in place. They have earnt their money and yet you object to them taking it from the economy and yet you do not want them to build wealth here. You want your BVI cake (cheap foreign labour who are not allowed to gain permanent status) and you want to eat it (tax those people for having the temerity to save a few cents to send home).

      I wish all of the migrant workers (the rich lawyers, and the poor house-keepers) would unite together to form a union and go on a territorial strike. Suddenly the whole of the BVI would shut down and maybe some people might learn to respect their sisters and brothers from other places just a little bit more. We are people and we just trying to make our lives as best as we can. Please stop abusing us in this way before there is a violent uprising against these neo-colonial oppressors who tell us They Belong but that We (the majority of the population) never will. Look at the Tutsi and Hutu of Rwanda and see what happened there.

  25. Hold the horse says:

    WHAT KIND OF F***ERY IS THIS ON US. PEOPLE WALKING AROUND IN DESIGNER SHOES AND CLUTCHING DESIGNER BAGS GOT A STIMULUS CHECKS AND YOU GOT PEOPLE WALKING AROUND HERE CAN HARDLY FEED THEIR FAMILIES AND WAS DENY A STIMULUS CHECK. ALL OF YOU RAS CLOTH IS GOING TO BURN IN THE PITS OF H**L INCLUDING THE DESIGNER SHOES AND PURSES.

  26. idea says:

    wow this is a sad news…

  27. God is good says:

    These people just hate expats for what ever reason but love to milk the poor people,the money nice but yet have so much hatred, they run England and America and are not treated so. To much hatred to expats but is thdmthztpzy ore tax so your supposed to be happy they are there but you all rather treat them like trash but will never realize they are the backbone of the economy. Get that hatred out and put more love. There is a God

  28. Love is all says:

    Expats are so important? Yet you all have so much hatred for them, these ppl have families, what you expect them to do, they have needs, the island ppl don’t work in the States for 6 or 6.50 in the States expats came here working for so little with no complain, Money gram and western union is an international business and other countries don’t treat the people so, so why all this hatred for expats, you all need a change of heart

  29. Anonymous says:

    Smh….

  30. concerned says:

    why should the people who pay tax on their salary already pay tax on the little money they send to their family and then this this government who have no HEART BUT JUST LUST OVER THE MONEY SENT TO FAMILY to go along their daily lives use it for first time home owners and the other crap mentioned above. you already taking the people money you could have at least have a HEART AND SAY LET ME CHARGE 3% SO I CAN USE THIS MONEY TO HELP WITH EDUCATION AND SCHOOLS. THIS GOVERNMENT HAVE NO HEART JUST LUST OVER OTHER PEOPLE LITTLE $$$$$$$$

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