BVI News

Taxing already-taxed money | Gov’t faces strong opposition for proposed 7% fee on $$ leaving BVI

The VIP government faced strong opposition in the House of Assembly on Friday when they introduced the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act — legislation that seeks to tax monies that leave the territory through wire transfers.

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn described the Bill as being ‘punitive’ to the territory’s working class. He further said the Fahie administration needs to find other ways to cut government expenses and generate revenue.

“We have to create efficiencies in the system. The system has become a burden,” said Penn who placed on record that the roughly one-year-old Fahie administration was not to be blamed.

“Putting a tax on our working-class people are not going to fix the systematic problems that we have in our system. Our efforts are better put if we address the inefficiencies in our system. We need to rethink this, rethink our approach. But, not on the backs of persons who struggle, who all they want to do is take care of their families that they left behind,” Penn argued.

The Opposition Leader further said these proposed taxes could force persons to take their activities ‘underground’. 

Turnbull displeased too

Opposition legislator Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull also said he cannot support the proposed tax, even if the purpose for which it is intended is ‘noble’. 

Turnbull, who has worked more than eight years in the money services business, said this new fee would mean imposing additional levies on monies that would have already been taxed.

“If I look and do some calculations, the average person living in this territory is supposed to pay eight percent on their income — four percent on Social Security [and] 3.75 percent on National Health Insurance (NHI) — and now seven percent on the monies that they would have to send out of this country,” the Second District Representative reasoned.

He added: “There is an additional five percent that is charged by the merchants of these money services businesses per transaction. So, based on the rough calculations that I did, we are looking at persons that would be sending monies out of this country having a tax of 27.75 percent [overall].”

“These monies that persons are sending out of this country have already been taxed, so how are we now coming again to pass legislation to tax money that has already been taxed?” Turnbull further questioned.

‘I can live with this decision’ — Premier

Responding to the Opposition, Premier Andrew Fahie said he is happy with the new measure being proposed; considering the monies collected will go towards social welfare.

“The question is; can I live with $0.7 cents on every dollar going towards the seniors, education, the fishing industry, the farming industry and to first-time landowners and homeowners? I search my soul, and the answer is ‘yes’. I could live with it,” the Premier declared.

“So, while I listen to everyone and I respect their opinion, I respect the debate, I don’t feel like I am doing anything wrong. I feel like I am doing something to protect the very entities that we need to build this country and those who had helped build us,” he added.

‘Persons sending monies are not poor’ — Labour Minister

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley who, like other government legislators, rose in support of the legislation, commended the Premier for ‘having the tenacity’ to introduce the tax. 

He said the monies that leave the territory through wire transfers annually amounts to nearly a tenth of a billion dollars. He used that collective sum to suggest that persons in the BVI who send monies abroad are not impoverished. 

“They look at it as some kind of evil thing we are here doing; making you feel as though you punishing the poor man. You’re making him pay seven cents on the dollar. You all telling me poor people sending out $89 million out of the BVI in one year? Poor people? Come on,” Wheatley counter-argued.

Even though the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act successfully passed in the House, it must now be assented by the governor to become law.

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  1. Yep says:

    I agree (and I am an expat on wp)
    Too much money is made here and sent out of the country,, the BVI needs this money to maintain it’s infrastructure and services we all use.
    I does however need to bring down the concerant costs of running Government!

    Like 8
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    • lady says:

      Listen to me if you nuh have nothing good to say shut you mouth,imagine you are working your butt off,$6.00 an hour and all you can do is pay taxes, and the little you try to send for your family it’s still being taxed. No man

      Like 36
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      • Yep says:

        I am not talking about you or me, I am talking about the good for the BVI !
        We are visitors here and if we don’t like it we can go home !

        Like 9
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        • Bulls**t says:

          Shut ur dirty s***nt sounds like you got everything you need right here…we visitors have alot on our hand some of us cya even sleep good..let the visitors go back home and u will see the difference in this place…wont be pretty

          Like 8
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        • Ssss says:

          You are a c**p

      • Racist says:

        This tax is nothing more than another racist attempt at enslaving down islanders. If the government is worried about keeping dollars in the Territory then why aren’t they taxing wire transfers. I would love to hear the uproar when the Belonger has to pay. The law would be gone in hours. The Belonger needs to go. By the way the dollar is US currency and you have no right to tax it’s movement under international law. What an uneducated group of swine you are.

        Like 16
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        • Faith says:

          You are so right mr trump needs to hear about this ,,after all they need to have their currency to tax instead of taxing another country currency,,,

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      • hmmm says:

        someone here on a work permit making $6 hr per should indicate that they cannot afford the cost of living in the BVI.

        This to me is one of the inefficiencies in the system where a work permit is granted to individuals and their pay cannot even cover shelter.

        Like 10
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        • voiceofthevoiceless says:


          Who created the minimum wage? If you set a minimum wage of $ 6 without considering the ability of people to survive on it then you blame the people? Remember some businesses don’t mind paying you minimum wage you know, once they making more money.

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        • @ Racist says:

          How is it racist if the government and people of the BVI are primarily the same race as other Caribbean nations? Plus the BVI government is taxing their own people as well? I think that you a just an extremely selfish human being.

        • Really? says:

          Obviously it is enough to pay all bills, including rent and to send money back home or these very persons would not be complaining right now. $95 million is not pocket change.

      • Hippo says:

        What about all of those jobs were were promised? What about the whistleblower law we were promised?

        • @Hippo says:

          Those jobs are for the citizens of the BVI, plus many nations are laying off workers at this time. Are you sleeping through all of this?

      • Anonymous says:

        Is this government really serious? We are here working our butts out not being able to do anything else but to work. Some of us are not sure whether our permits will be renewed and as a result ask ti leave because ee cant find another job. So what do they expect us to do? We ought to have some form of security to fall back on if it comes to a situation where we have to live. Are we not suppose to feed our elders back home? Are we not supposed to meet our commitments back home? In addition we have rent which is untegulated utilities and other commitments here which we must attentd to. This is just pure wickedness and selfishness. Just imagine a man who is always putting god first is proposing such legislation. It leaves me to wonder which God he is really serving.

      • Concerned says:

        It is sad for few people to be creating anxiety on a group of people working on this island despite the tension from COVID-19 and great loss from prolonged lock down
        This is unfair on the part of targeted workers. This is callous.
        The individuals earnings have been taxed through different areas such as pay roll-tax,social security, work permit NHI, annual visa fee ,
        It is unfair to inflict burden on people by dipping your hand to unlawful purse of individuals after deducting the lawful fees from the source’
        . We wish you fear God who put you there.

    • crisis20 says:

      The government trying to squeeze the peoples lives by using their already taxed income, its an amendment of destruction. People worked hard to save money, do budget cuts to send money for needy love ones, poor are not the words, we simply work and work for a dollar to transfer overseas. If this in effect its like financial virus, sad right?

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      • JAY says:

        This is unfair on the part of the workers who work hard to make the meager money after the lawful deductions. Instead the government should collect the huge amount some employers deducted from these workers from the source and not remitted to government.God will intervene.

    • Local says:

      So on my pay slip deductions there s income tax then I have feed my child back home because it’s not easy to get her here to live with me (bvi laws) out of the samw pay check and I will be taxed again.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sound so reckless who work for the money you or them fresh and out of place with you small mind.

      Like 2
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    • voiceofthevoiceless says:

      @ No you are not an Expat. If you are then you are one of those hating ones who already got his rights and don’t give a rats ass about the rest of the expats. What does it profit a Man that he should reach the top of the Mountain and not help anyone else up that Mountain.

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    • Shush says:

      You fail to realize that people have other obligations. Residents/ citizens have children residing abroad, college students, ailing family members and the list can go on and on. We are already contributing to the economy here. Although I consider The Premier to be of noble character, on the contrary, I do not support this decision. Taxes killing people.

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    • Chewie says:

      This is for yep one like you downgrade others and look down on where you from as if they nothing you are a fool

  2. Rubber Duck says:

    Like work permits, this seems to be a way of taxing non belongers while not taxing belongers. Taxing the people with no votes. Keeping the people with votes happy.

    What will happen in reality is that wages will creep up to pay for this and so prices will creep up.

    And in the end everyone pays.

    Like 25
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    • Rubber Duck says:

      BVI governments of all shades are obsessed with taxing jobs. Payroll tax, NHI, Social security, Work Permits and now this. Employers pay as well as employees.
      Taxing jobs is not the way to create 1000 of them Mr Fahie.

      Instead tax spending. Rich people spend more therefore would pay more tax. And tourists would pay a lot of the tax as at the moment they pay little, Cruise permits and hotel tax excepted.

      Like 5
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      • Do yo math momma says:

        The question is; can I live with $0.7 cents on every dollar”
        $.7 is seventy cents. Did he mean $.07? Is this a typo? Will the charges apply to businesses that are wiring money abroad to purchase goods? What about us? Will we have to pay the .70 or .07 on our payments abroad?

    • Comment says:

      Anyone who is using this service is taxed, if many persons from other nations leave the BVI do you think the tax will be removed immediately? No

  3. Joc says:

    I am in agreement with the Premier. These people have big houses and big bank accounts in other Islands. Why we can’t have that with our USDollar???

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    • BVIslander says:

      You sound sooooooo pathetic.

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    • Mr wick says:

      First of all the companies here came for us we didn’t come on our own innitiative. Second as I have seen they came because the bvi needed us to rebuild it and make it what it is now and better. Third if the belongers were any good we wont be here plain and simple. I work the islands and 95% of the workers ain’t “born hey” and the other 5% are locals who look for the easiest laziest jobs to do, if what I said offends you or anybody I dont give a s**t, a spade is a spade. The premier is being greedy on this one.

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      • Hello! says:

        1. How did these companies know that you needed employment?
        2. How can you possibly say that you helped to build a nation in which you were paid for the services you rendered?

    • Online Now says:

      This kind of jealousy is so out of place. The majority of people who send money “home” would be happy to spend the money here if they were welcomed to buy property, invest in business or even bring their families with them.

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      • Comment says:

        If we allow you all these rights, who’s nation is this? What will we give our children? So you and your children, your family should have two nations because we use the US dollar, just like that, as you hit our shores? Will your nation afford us the same rights? Not at all! Just pay your taxes like each of us!

        • Online Now says:

          You are right, the U.K. should remove your rights until they become reciprocal …. works both ways?

          So why not allow freedom to repatriate funds without tax if you don’t want them investing here?

    • Just Curious says:

      Ok. The same reason why BV Islanders have their Big houses and Bank accounts. The taxes for an expat to buy land here is more than what is charged to us BV Islanders. These people have families that they have to leave behind because bringing them here is too costly. Remember these children cannot go to public schools but have to pay the high prices for private schools. Now they are sending money home to provide for their families we want to tax them to. We carried up the cost for work permits now this. WOW. How heartless can we be as a country. I will beg the Premier to rethink this. If you do not want the expat to come to our country so be it but don’t bleed them for every cent that they work for. Remember your people are living abroad to. USA, UK for a better life for their families the same reason the expat are in our country.
      For the record. I am a BV Islander.

      Like 42
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      • Please says:

        You act like the government is requiring half of ones’ pay. You will be petitioning the Premier in vain, but you have a lot of time on your hands these days so enjoy, just don’t get a heartache over this issue cause you sound very passionate. I hope these persons feel the same passion about your cause.

    • Love says:

      Miss if you save your money you can have the same big house to but you guys choose to buy big jeeps first

      Like 15
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    • Anonymous says:


    • Tax return says:

      Its called currency exchange value. Don’t watch the big house and bank account, you don’t know what they doing at nights or how many jobs they have to acquire such things.
      Stop watching what they have and focus on improving whats under your nose.

    • To joc says:

      So what yall got here small houses and small accounts…sorry if u dont have, cya watch people sweat and burn you…go for pounds and your us dollars will do it..migrate sum place else then u will understand

    • Rubber Duck says:

      Is that why they come to BVI to work for $6 an hour and be treated like slaves.

      • Comment says:

        If the BVI treats persons as slaves, yet they stay for years, earning $6.00, how much more a slave are they in their own country?

  4. Discriminators says:

    Fine for you rich legislators to say that the people who use money transmission services are not poor.

    How so?

    Why would anyone use Western Union if they could afford a wire transfer?

    Why target a tax at one section of society only?

    In times gone by the BVI has relied on work in the rest of the Caribbean for its sons of the soil to be able to provide for their families.

    Those times may well return when the gold or oil of financial services industry.

    Your actions and lack of Caribbean solidarity will be remembered. The DownIslander Tax will be remembered.

    There will be a reckoning.

    Like 27
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  5. Dissappointed says:

    Have the legislators lined up at western Union ever? Do they think the people their are wealthy? Why would these people use Western Union if they could wire transfer. It smells like the government trying to get money from those they don’t need.

    Like 15
    • yes problem says:

      Legislators take a 20% pay cut as the New Zealand Prime Minister Ms. Aderne has authorised, including herself, before killing our people with another ‘tax’.

      Like 12
    • Yes says:

      They stated this in the House, they do line up at these businesses at times to make transactions.

  6. Captain Flint says:

    This is a further 7% tax on all Expats, companies and businesses that have to use wire transfers. Another nail in the coffin for the BVI businesses and workers and the people of the BVI. As someone mentioned below all of the goods come from outside the USA so the cost of fuel and food are going to increasing as well. The mechanics of this have not been thought through. If all of the expats and businesses left the BVI the BVI will have NO money.

    Like 20
  7. Captain Flint says:

    This is a further 7% tax on all Expats, companies and businesses that have to use wire transfers. Another nail in the coffin for the BVI businesses and workers and the people of the BVI. As someone mentioned below all of the goods come from outside the USA so the cost of fuel and food are going to increasing as well. The mechanics of this have not been thought through. If all of the expats and businesses left the BVI the BVI will have NO money. And if the Government collected the payroll and SSI and NHI form local businesses they may have more money in the coffers.

  8. Mega-Yachts says:

    So we are given the mega yachts ‘mega billionaires ‘ tax break on fuel but imposing tax on our working class citizens. This Maths don’t add up nor the logic. The owners of these yachts can be best described as ‘WEALTHY’.

    Like 14
  9. Captain Flint says:

    And if the BVI Government collected the payroll tax and SSI and NHI from local businesses they may have more money in the coffers.

    Like 16
  10. Dominican Girlfriends says:

    I have used Western Union several times to send money I can’t help but notice all of the local people sending money to their girlfriends in the Dominican. Sometimes the joke about it saying she now has money to buy a toaster and the other guy says well I’m buying her a microwave…

    I personally don’t care if they tax it, but to say this is not the learners is incorrect based on my observations

    Like 1
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  11. Doc says:

    Hon. Penn need to check back years under the ndp admin the former min. of health the hon. Skelton did at one time try that and he penn did not object then.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
    • Liar says:

      Stop lie! Skelton spoke against the proposed tax on money services years ago when it came up. Go do your research it’s on another website online history. When you can’t speak the truth, then dont speak lies.

      This tax is coming off the backs of the lower wage income earners. Taxing the poor to solve problems = Trumpism

      Let’s debate it now, that’s if you can handle the truth.

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
  12. Just Curious says:

    Ok. The same reason why BV Islanders have their Big houses and Bank accounts. The taxes for an expat to buy land here is more than what is charged to us BV Islanders. These people have families that they have to leave behind because bringing them here is too costly. Remember these children cannot go to public schools but have to pay the high prices for private schools. Now they are sending money home to provide for their families we want to tax them to. We carried up the cost for work permits now this. WOW. How heartless can we be as a country. I will beg the Premier to rethink this. If you do not want the expat to come to our country so be it but don’t bleed them for every cent that they work for. Remember your people are living abroad to. USA, UK for a better life for their families the same reason the expat are in our country.
    For the record. I am a BV Islander.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  13. Chess master says:

    The government of BVI must be build businesses to increase profits not only in tax, other things the government must be owned oil and gas as well as transportation. Government without a good asset are always depend on taxation. DON’T abuse the humanity leave with love.

  14. Justice says:

    Mr.Fahie , is your action epitome discrimination?…Why imposing new taxation in form of 7% on money transfer via Western Union and MoneyGram services sectors? Are you unjustly targeting the expatriates who helped and continue to help this country?….Nothing could be more irrelevant in a time of world crisis you need to unveil the needed stimulus package you are trying to dodge for weeks now for the people. Use up some of the monies you have in social security,thus said the governor. You’ve disappointed many of your supports I am one of those. Election time we many expatriates who voted for you last time shall remember this act.

    Hope you have a change of heart

    Like 7
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    • GTFOH says:

      The beaches open today in the USVI and just a little secret between you and me they aren’t charging 7% for sending money away. Run go quick!

  15. Staff says:

    This tax is a total bad mind how can a minister saý people who send money is not poor if some one go to money gram /western union and send a 100 dollars back to help out a family member how can you say that the person is not poor dem you all talking about prayers god is watching from a distance, what happen to Saddom and gomorrah when god destroy the wicked after seeing all the wickedness that wà taking place beware bvi people

    Like 10
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  16. Weir D. Playne says:

    This is strictly politics as usual. The opposition excluding Mark were strongly against Fahie giving people that were living here for 15 years and over belongership status. Mitch called for locals to protest even though he married… so don’t let them fool you. Their only purpose is to oppose everything that government does. They don’t really care about expats.

    Like 10
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  17. GTFOH says:

    Look we don’t tell Andrew Holness how to run Jamaica.
    We don’t tell Ralph Gonsalves how to run St. Vincent
    We don’t tell Danilo Medino how to run The Dominican Republic so why everybody trying to tell Hon. Andrew Fahie how to run the BVI? Just a tip when you in a situation where things aren’t going your way and you can’t change the situation, remove yourself from the situation. That goes for jobs, relationships everything. FYI, The USVI have cheaper housing, cost of living and higher minimum wage than the BVI. Follow Native Son, Fast Ferry and Smiths Ferry for the travel schedule after the curfew ends.

    Like 21
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    • @GTFOH says:

      What a d**k!

      Like 1
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    • you are not ,,,i am a expat i work for $6.00 an hour,, i pay tax from my pay fro august to December i pay nhi and sc every week ,,,not to mention i have to pay my rent ,,,now i dont even mention food ,,i have my o take care of them also ,i live here yes and i love to see developments, but paying tax on the little i remain with after all these bills aint fair says:

      You are so unreasonable,,,no one is telling hon fahie ,how to run the country ,,,its freedom of speech ,,,,and we all feeling the pinch where ever you are from ,,and person have the rights to cry out when it hurts

      Like 1
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    • Voiceofthevoiceless says:


      Once you pay taxes you have a voice. Once you spend in a country you have a voice. Once you live in a country you have a voice.

      If every expat has to leave here how you think that would leave the BVI?

      BVIslanders have to be very careful as our prosperity and way of life is under threat and we may soon find ourselves earning a living in a strange land.

      Like 3
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  18. Love says:

    Miss if you save your money you can have the same big house to but you guys choose to buy big jeeps first

    Like 1
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  19. @ Yep & joc & others says:

    Hmm yall agree with fahie yo say haha how maby of yall buy and support the locals from food friuts and vegetable how many of yall reinvest in yall community bs smh
    When we work for you and it’s a problem what we do with our $ don’t y’all see fahie and that damn greedy gang they gonna turn the rest New good Reps and Min. Into cold blooded criminal like y’all season veterans thief
    Ok what’s so worst is that when we do get tax for this the $$$ help not the territory so what are y’all doing lol gotta laugh it’s like the old time saying taking 1cent from everyone is a great penny when your 3 years in power done
    Yea y’all jump in pon this one

    Like 2
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  20. Ali says:

    We need to come as one a go to government house and demonstrate about it. It’s unfair

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  21. ReX FeRaL says:

    Is the 5% being currently charged to send money Legal?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Since you all want to tax everything how about a tax return

    Like 2
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  23. Tax return says:

    Since you all taxing everything and paycheck are getting smaller how about a tax return for the people that trying to stay afloat in this country your all call paradise as(TORTOLA).

    Like 1
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  24. Sigh says:

    Dear Premier…I have supported you from day one…but regarding this 7% tax, it is not about your feelings. It is about doing the right thing. Isn’t there another way that funds can be produced to facilitate the social welfare you speak of? I personally know many who send monies to their home country and are underpaid. Please research this.

    Mr. Wheatley you all are looking at this the wrong way. Collectively you will get a large figure and say that they are making enough money to be taxed but that’s the wrong way to look at it. Each individual does not work for the same dollar amount. I know of many who make $6 an hour and really are struggling. Sometimes they do not even work a full 40 hrs a week. After taxes are deducted and their bills barely paid, what they send home is nothing much. I know first hand that kind of struggle. Also the persons from here who are sending monies to their children who are in school etc. Not all of them have high paying jobs. For those who are well off it maybe fine but for the many who are paid at the minimum wage it will not be easy. Talk about crippling the already crippled.

    Please reconsider this 7% amount.

    Thank You

    Like 2
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  25. Anonymous says:

    I have to take care of my parents back in my country and take of the with big salary parents. Tell me where his tax coming from to help take care of his parents in the ADH

  26. Musa says:

    Guys this is good news teach your kids that they can get a scholarship now.

  27. Pig says:

    That i***t need to shut the hell up and let the government work.

  28. Disinterested says:

    Hon Penn, the taxing already taxed money dog is not going to hunt. Is the 7% charge a tax or a fee? Additionally, tax on interest from already tax money is a common thing. Of course, those paying charge on remittances will not like charge. Some called it discriminatory, for it targets expats. The property tax on land is paid mainly by land owners, primarily locals; is that discriminatory? No. Others have provided good points for the charge so need to repeat it here.

    Like 1
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    • Anonymous says:

      @ disinterested. You have no point there and sound so distant reality. In case you dont know what the government is trying to do there is call compound interest, that’s when you collect tax on tax. It’s an illegal practice and will deliver great legal obligations if pursued. And u comparing it to you paying land tax which is something different.

      Like 1
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  29. Online Now says:

    Could someone who supports this, please tell me what they would like the people sending money out by WU to spend their money on locally? Because that’s the argument you are using. Money not going into the economy. They still pay rent, utilities, food, phones, entertainment ..

    That would really help me to understand. Because;
    – I don’t think you want them buying land.
    – I don’t think you want them owning businesses.
    – I don’t think you want them to stay long term.
    What do you want?

    Like 3
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  30. Expats lets obey says:

    What ever they do they do. All we expats to ungratful at time look how many of alyo speak about nonsense under the people um live alyo who make things harder for alyo self. Entire world going through a crisit alyo same one looking food item are the same one sent out alyo money. What ever the people do they do. Our home country tax us on everything and harder than the BVI. People like me can buy vehicles away bring here and clear back home we spending more money clear so allow the people do as like

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  31. Fatimah says:

    Heyyyyy,mr trump needs to hear this ,,you need your own currency to tax ,,,instead of taxing other country currency

    Like 1
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  32. Idea says:

    Heavenly father, all this is place at your feet, we shall meekly wait and murmured not for how long shall the wicked reign over thy people in your precious name we prayed…amen

    Like 1
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  33. Loud and clear says:

    I don’t know what more foreigners needs to hear to realize they are not wanted here. Andrew and Vincent please do tell where the majority of the money leaves via. You and the wicked masses only see the little man who lines up to send their lil $100 overseas to take care of them families. The big man who sending the $50,000 uses the banks wire system program for a set fee why dont you make it fair and across the board then. Compare the money transfer system and the banks transfers and see which one sends out more money. Only becuz is the ‘down island’ who uses the money transfer system you find another way to keep their money. Do you know how unfair it is. More than 60% of their money is already left on the island and you still want to take another 7% from what they have and try to send to them families and take care them households. You guys are wicked. All these fees you keep tacking on just because they have no choice and no say. Bad minded people that’s just what Virgin Islanders are. I know what they going say already if you don’t like it leave. I hope there never comes the time where here will really need those people all you so love to oppress

    Like 3
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  34. John says:

    Am not against the tax am against the amount 2% is good that’s what Cayman islands take

  35. Observant says:

    The bvi government need someone with a little vision to guide the premier properly instead of coming up with these petty suggestions to increase cashflow in the bvi,the bvi has the cheapest birthing fees in the Caribbean (1) you could increase that (2) increase landing fees at the airport (3) you have a cargo facility at the airport that is not properly utilized, start to use it the way it should. There are so many ways increased cash flow could be generated instead of bullying the same people so many of you despise into further supporting your economy.

  36. Feed Up of the Goverment says:

    Government just for them selves everything is taxed n at the end of the year not even a tax return all you doing is collecting money while the ppl in BVI suffer some people barely could afford anything with pay rate in the BVI

  37. Bandit says:

    dont people pay VAT and sales taxes on income that has already been taxed around the world.

  38. Tooth&Claw says:

    Tax the owners of Guana, Norman, Necker, Moskito and Eustatia islands first, then start looking to the little people.

    And to further improve the system; raise the tax on second properties.

    Taxing a bank transfer is ridiculous and must be illegal somehow. It is government theft, nothing more.

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  39. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Undoubtedly, this proposed decision to charge a 7% fee on remittances and other money transfer is controversial. In every locale where it is proposed or imposed, it is controversial. It is seen as double taxation and a burden being borne only by immigrants. Opposing the 7% tax is smart politics. Nonetheless, increasingly, there is a demand by both locals and expats for more services but everyone wants someone else to pay for it. It is a NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard)attitude. It reminds me of some Americans attitude and dislike of government-provided healthcare, especially Obama Care(Affordable Care Act). Though they dislike government-provided healthcare, World War III would erupt if government even dream of touching Medicare, Veterans healthcare…..etc, government healthcare. By the way, they like Obama Care if it is called by another name, ie, Kentucky Connect.

    Anyway, government is expected to provide services, ie, healthcare, education, economic growth and development, social services, infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, sewage, drainage, telecommunications), transportation, public safety (police, fire, security), public health and safety……..etc. Most if not all of these services are non-rivaled and non-excludable, ie, one person consumption does not diminish another person’s ability to consume it and they cannot be withheld even if one does not pay, respectively.

    Moreover, though government is expected to deliver these services, it has limited means of raising revenue to do so. The economy is service-based and its revenue streams are tax, fees, fines, penalties…..etc. It does not get grant aid from the UK. And when needs exceed available funding, it borrows money, ie, Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital, Elmore Stoutt High School renovation project, Tortola Pier Park, road projects (what road you say?)……etc. It also enters into Public Private Ventures/Public Private Partneships(Bi-water water project). As such, for government to deliver and continue to deliver high quality services, both locals and expats benefit and must contribute. Assessing a nominal fee on remittances seems to be reasonable means of raising some revenue. Should the fee be 7%, 6%, 5%…..etc? HOA should debate the pros and cons.

    Further, per government information, on average $89M leaves the territory via remittances. In a small economy (GDP ~$1B, and average $400M O&M budget),$89M taken out of the economy is a huge leakage. Typically, to grow and sustain an economy, money must circulate in the economy as many times as practical. The VI/BVI imports practically everything it needs so there is a huge leakage in the economy with millions of dollars circulating only once. In other locales, money circulates 3-4 times up to 7 times. Virgin Islanders understand that expats travelled long distances from their homelands away from their families to the VI for better economic opportunities to help their families in their homelands. Virgin Islanders also are not averse to expats sending money home to their families. In fact, I’m confident that they support and encourages it. Nevertheless, to grow and sustain the economy requires everyone contributing his/her commensurate share. Covid-19 is not a hoax or a scam and is real so be safe.

    • Lexi says:

      So instead of taxing the minimum wage workers, why doesn’t the government introduce a CORPORATION tax? Tax the local companies making over a certain amount each year. That should take care of all revenue shortfalls. How about it Mr. Premier?

  40. Online Now says:

    The argument again “Typically, to grow and sustain an economy, money must circulate in the economy as many times as practical.”

    What should expats spend this money on if they are discouraged from investing in assets (property, business). They are constantly reminded they are only temporary workers.

  41. Lexi says:

    And what is this tax going to support? It’s going to support privileged BVIslanders to buy homes! That’s just ridiculous! Has anyone ever heard of the Land Bank? Nope, me neither. Well they ain’t getting one cent from me! From now on, no more wire transfers from me!

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