Opposition Leader Raises Concerns Over ABST Payment Changes

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Opposition Raises Concerns Over ABST Payment Change

The recent decision by the government to reduce the number of days for payment of the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) from 30 to 15 has sparked concerns from the opposition.

Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle highlighted the potential challenges this decision may pose for businesses, especially those in the service industry.

Pringle emphasized that many companies, particularly in the service sector, operate on a net 30-day payment cycle.

He stated, “Even though they may invoice for a job, they may not receive payment until after 30 days or even longer.”

Pringle expressed concerns that the shortened payment period for ABST may put undue pressure on businesses, especially those waiting on funds to cover their costs.

He pointed out that while the government expects businesses to pay the ABST within 15 days, some companies may not receive payment from their clients for 45 days or more.

This could result in businesses having to pay the ABST out of pocket before they have actually collected the funds from their clients.

Pringle added, “This is not going to solve the problem; it’s just going to put those persons who are already paying within that 30-day window on the pressure to find it to pay it in 15 days.”

Pringle also raised questions about the government’s strategy to address non-payment or non-compliance with ABST regulations.

He suggested that the government should engage with the business sector to understand their challenges and find solutions that are fair to all businesses.

He stated, “We have to look at this business sector in a way that is more serious than we’re doing.”

Pringle called for a more considerate approach, suggesting that businesses that collect cash at the point of sale should adhere to the 15-day payment period, while companies in the service industry should be given more time.

He emphasized the need for fairness and urged the government to address non-compliance issues to ensure a level playing field for all businesses.

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