No date has been set for ABST relief, says Hurst

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The government is distancing itself from a social media post which purports to reveal the dates this year when local shoppers  enjoy a reduction in the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST). 
According to the information floating around on WhatsApp and other social media sites, the ABST relief dates for Antigua and Barbuda will be December 14-17 and December 21-23, 2018.
However, Chief of Staff Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst told OBSERVER media yesterday that the information is fake and it is not coming from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
“I sit in the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda and when any such decisions are made it is relayed to me so that I can, in turn, pass it on to the people of Antigua and Barbuda through the news medium. No such decision has yet been made, therefore whoever is circulating those dates, made it up,” Hurst said.
Around Christmas every year, the government customarily announces a date when the 15 percent ABST tax is reduced to 5 percent. This means that all goods sold at registered ABST businesses in Antigua and Barbuda will charge only a 5 percent tax.
Shoppers hoping to purchase items for Christmas usually anticipate the discount period, which first began in 2012 under the United Progressive Party (UPP) administration. They look forward to the tax break, especially to purchase vehicles and other big-ticket items. In the past, banks and other lending agencies have made special arrangements to accommodate customers, and some merchants also go as far as to offer additional discounts.

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