Government to Honor Duty-Free Waivers Granted Before April 1, Senator Samantha Marshall Clarifies

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Marshall

 Government to Honor Pre-Act Duty-Free Waivers, Senator Samantha Marshall Clarifies Impact on Hotels-

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Senator Samantha Marshall, Leader of the Government Business in the Senate, addressed the amendment of tax laws aimed at removing the Minister of Finance’s discretionary power to waive taxes.

She emphasized that duty-free waivers granted before the act’s implementation would be honored.

“This bill is to amend various tax laws and to remove the discretionary power of the Minister of Finance to waive taxes and to provide the infrastructural framework for accounting for waivers of custom duties and other connected purposes,” Senator Marshall explained.

She further highlighted the impact of the bill on the hospitality sector, particularly hotels that have historically sought waivers on various items.

“We’ve had hotels and institutions who continuously, for whatever reason, insist on getting waivers on every single item,” she stated, emphasizing that this practice was not the intended purpose of the legislation.

The bill also addresses other aspects, such as the Revenue Recovery Charge, Environmental Protection Levy, and Tourism Guest Levy Act of 2021, all of which have implications for tax exemptions and ministerial discretion.

Senator Marshall clarified that while the bill limits the Minister’s discretion in granting exemptions, there are provisions for certain exemptions based on specific criteria, such as goods imported for retail.

Additionally, the Minister will be required to prepare reports on waivers granted, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Importantly, Senator Marshall assured that duty-free waivers granted before the bill’s enactment would be honored, providing clarity for businesses and individuals affected by the changes.

“All of that all import or export customs duties and all exemptions from customs duties granted prior, so if persons had their duties already granted before the 1st of April they will be honored. It is from the 1st of April once this bill is passed that this will take effect,” she told the Upper House

The bill, once passed, is set to take effect from April 1st, with provisions for reporting and oversight to ensure the proper implementation of tax exemptions and waivers moving forward.

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