A certain business in the Third District has been accused of illegal taxation, and Junior Minister of Trade and Investment, Hon. Marlon Penn announced that the practice needs to stop.
Hon. Penn said: “It is a business within the Third District — it was brought to my attention that this business charges a five percent surcharge on all the customers who do business with the use of a credit card, or Visa/Master card.”
The Junior Minister who was at the time contributing to the Budget Debate on 22 March announced that the House of Assembly is the only body that can implement taxes, and he stated that he cannot recall the House agreeing to a value-added tax system.
“You are adding a tax to the people of this Territory, and you have no authority to tax the people of this Territory. That is something that we have to address,” he said.
He also disclosed that other businesses in the Territory are guilty of illegal taxing, and explained that the businesses add the tax to avoid paying fees to credit card companies, by passing the cost on to customers.
However, Hon. Penn said that the guilty businesses are charging the customers five percent instead of the two or three percent they are being charged.
The Junior Minister of Trade explained that the businesses are even charging for debit transactions: “It goes even further — they even charge on debit cards, which is a direct debit to your account. Which means, that the agency or the business does not get charged for processing that transaction on a debit transaction, but they are charging you five percent.”