The 14 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on all education services has been scrapped, Finance Minister Winston Jordan announced.
He said, in the 2018 Budget Speech, that the decision was taken “in view of the representations” made to have the tax removed.
Jordan said government would lose GY$342 million now that the tax has been abolished.
At the same time, he indicated that educational institutions must ensure that they pay up all other taxes. “At the same time, efforts will continue by the GRA (Guyana Revenue Authority) to ensure these institutions become tax compliant,” he said.
The decision came one year after the Finance Minister had announced the imposition of the tax, sparking off weeks of protest in front of a number of government offices including the Ministry of Education.
The 14 percent VAT on education was regarded as one of the more unpopular decisions by the David Granger-led administration in less than two years in office.
The Finance Minister also announced that, following representation by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association, the tributors tax on gold miners has been slashed from 20 percent to 10 percent, and they would still be required to file annual tax returns.
In relation to the 2 percent gross tax, he said a sliding scale has been introduced. If the price of gold is under US$1,100 per ounce, the tax would be 2 percent; US$1,100 to US$1,300 it would be 2.5 percent; US$1,300 to US$1,600 it would be 3 percent and if the price increases to US$1,600 per ounce, the tax would be 3.5 percent.