Barbados Announces Second VAT-Free Shopping Day

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Consumers here will get a Value Added Tax (VAT) holiday on Wednesday, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Ryan Straughn has announced.

ryansanMinister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn.Making the disclosure at a press conference on Tuesday, he said the objective of the VAT-free shopping day which comes in the last week before Christmas is to provide an ease for consumers who have faced 33 months of significant economic challenges due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the war in Ukraine.

“We believe that at this Yuletide season consumers will certainly benefit from the 17.5 percent reduction in prices on the goods that attract VAT on the day and, therefore, will be able to stretch their budgets even further than previously anticipated,” he said.

“Businesses will benefit from greater sales due to the increased purchasing power of consumers on the day and we are confident that it represents a win-win for both parties.”

Straughn added that the initiative would cost Government up to BDS$3.5 million (One BDS dollar = US$0.50) in revenue.

The VAT-free shopping will only apply to goods and they must be available for sale with immediate issuance or delivery to the customer on the day.

Hire purchase sales are eligible to facilitate people who may not have cash to make purchases at this time; however, credit purchases, goods on consignment or from wholesale distribution centers will not be eligible.

Sale of motor vehicles, gasoline, LPG and diesel, guns, ammunition, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are also exempt from the VAT ease.

This is the second time Barbadian consumers are benefitting from a VAT-free day. The first was on December 20, 2021.