No Vat Shopping For Back To School

The Compass - VAT
The Compass - VAT

By Abria Cooper

The Bahamas Ministry of Finance shared that the Department of Island Revenue is offering a variety of school related items Value Added Tax (VAT) free.  This initiative began on the VAT Holiday, Monday, August 31st, 2020 and will last until September 20th, 2020.

Bahamians can purchase clothing, school uniforms, fabric and underwear all VAT free during the Back to School VAT Holiday and purchase shoes, tennis, stockings and socks and snacks.

The VAT Holiday tax relief measure is intended to make back to school shopping less expensive for parents, while providing support to local businesses throughout The Bahamas.

This initiative allows for VAT zero rated treatment on a variety of school items including school uniforms, clothing, backpacks, school supplies, personal computers, food items and other miscellaneous school items that are purchased locally. Imported items are NOT included under the VAT-holiday, and will attract the ordinary border taxes and will have to pay VAT on these items upon entering the country. 

The VAT Holiday is based on the initially planned September 21 date for the reopening of schools.

All merchants who are VAT registrants and are licensed to sell back to school supplies, must offer the VAT holiday.

Personal computers and tablets, sale price of $3,000 or less per unit, personal computers include electronic book readers, laptops, desktops, handhelds, tablets, or tower computers, but excludes cellular telephones, video game consoles, digital media receivers, or devices that are not primary designed to process data

Personal computer related accessories, sale price of $1,000 or less per unit.  They include: keyboards, mouse, digital assistants, monitors, printers, other peripheral devices, modems, calculator, routers and non-recreational software.

School supplies are; pens, pencils, markers, crayons, erasers, notebooks and notepads, books of all kind, including textbooks, note filler paper, plain paper (8.5”X11” and 8.5” X14”) and construction paper, legal pads, binders and folders, white boards, marking boards and poster boards, scissors, cellophane tape, rulers, computer disks, glue or paste, protractors and compasses, and staples and staplers used to secure paper

Food and snack items being offered include; deli and luncheon Meats, juices, bottled water, eggs.

Prepackaged snacks are also on the list, including chips, cookies, nuts, cheese-based snacks, dried fruits and fruit snacks.

Fruits, cereals, pop tarts and yogurts are as well.

Miscellaneous items include printer Ink, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, paper towels/hand towels, disinfectant wipes and sprays, face masks.

All clothing uniforms or fabric for uniforms & belts, less than $100 per unit, and underwear or unclothing that are less than $60 per unit.

Items like foot wear, including shoes, tennis, socks & stockings that are less than $200 per unit excluding skis, swim fins, roller blades, and skates.

School bags & beverage holders including gym bags, backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles and thermos for $150 or less per unit excluding handbags, briefcases, suitcases & other garment bags are also included.

 All hair accessories with a sale price of $30 or less per unit, excluding: hair extensions, frontal, wigs, crowns, veils, hats or caps