Entertainment tax deferred until January 2019

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The government of Antigua and Barbuda has deferred the implementation of the 10 percent entertainment tax until January 2, 2019.
It has also waived the 25 percent withholding fee that was to be subtracted from the final amounts to be paid to overseas artistes performing in the country. The decision was made on Wednesday during the Cabinet meeting to which promoters on the island were invited to make a presentation.
The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) was seeking to implement the entertainment tax along with the 25 percent withholding tax after a three-year moratorium.
However, promoters on the island are not happy with the tax that will be applied to all ticket sales.
Festivals Minister Daryll Matthew told reporters on Thursday that the government made the compromise, despite the fact that the event organisers failed to convince them that the imposition of the tax would put a dent in their profit margins.
“We do concede that perhaps the timing would not have been the best. We asked the promoters to indicate to us what it is they believe would be a reasonable level of taxation for their events and we also indicated to them that we would give them time to sort themselves out,” the minister said.
According to Matthew, during the same meeting on Wednesday, the three individuals representing the entertainment industry presented a counter-proposal for a 1 percent levy on tickets sold at all-inclusive fetes and a 2 percent at events that are not all-inclusive.
He said the Cabinet felt that particular proposal was inadequate, the government ministers also felt a second proposal for 2 percent on all-inclusive events and 4 percent for non-all-inclusive fell beneath adequate levels.

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