Business owners are no longer required to affix revenue stamps to receipts for retail purchases. This change was brought about by the passage of the Tax Amendment Bill in the National Assembly on Tuesday, following a debate.
The amendment was brought about following requests from the private sector to alleviate the burden on consumers.
Defending the bill, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, M.P, said the requirement of revenue stamps on retail receipts has been mostly disregarded by many businesses, over the years.
He said, “The removal of the requirement that revenue stamps be affixed to receipts issued for retail transactions, in fact, was a specific representation made by the private sector in one of the consultations that we would have had with them. And so, this act simply seeks to remove that requirement that in relation to revenue stamps, in relation to retail transactions receipts issued for retail transactions, revenue stamps shall no longer have to be affixed.”
Supporting her colleague, Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, MP, expressed the importance of the removal of the stamps. She reminded that the revenue stamps are paid for by consumers, thus the removal will alleviate such burden.
“This Government has a duty to ensure that it takes all necessary and appropriate measures to protect consumers, ordinary Guyanese and create a healthy, fair and conducive business environment. With this bill we seek to do so. Apart from simplification in terms of relief, this measure places an estimated $6 million per year back into the pockets of Guyanese.”
The passage of this bill adds to the litany of measures the PPP/C Government has implemented to ease the burden on taxpayers, especially, in the face of a rise in the cost of living due to the Covid pandemic and exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
Some measures implanted are the removal of VAT on electricity and water, educational supply, medical supplies, construction materials, fertiliser, agricultural machinery, reversal of increased land rental charges and drainage and irrigation costs, and the return of the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant and the extension of the programme to cater for students attending private schools.
The one-month bonus for the disciplined service was also returned and old age pension increased among a slew of measures.
Additionally, President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, on Monday announced that persons living in the hinterland and riverain communities will benefit from a $25,000 one-off cash grant to cushion the effects of the increased cost of living.
He also revealed that his government will be purchasing $1 billion in fertilisers to be distributed to farmers free of cost. The third measure announced by the Head of State, is the establishment of a Home Construction Assistance Facility, to aid home construction.