Freelance Business Consultant, Bridgette Mackey, recently stated that there needs to be a change in the financial culture throughout The Bahamas and the offloading of some personal expenses as the government readies to implement Value Added Tax (VAT).
Speaking at The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) on the topic, “VAT and the Bahamian Consumer,” Ms. Mackey who assists businesses with VAT preparation said, as the government is taking measures to increase its revenue base and decrease expenditure, consumers ought to do the same.
“As a culture, we borrow. That mindset has to change. The banks make a killing on our debt. The Bible says, ‘The borrower is slave to the lender.’ Let’s start saving,” she stressed at the forum organized by BTVI’s Business and Student Affairs departments.
“If we all take a look, we probably will find some area of waste,” said Ms. Mackey, adding that every working person should have a budget and stick to it.
She stated that when people are not taking note of what they are spending each penny on, the money is subject to waste.
The business analyst’s advice for saving included: track all daily spending as it gives a picture of where one’s money is going; save towards vacations, back-to-school, Christmas shopping etc.; team up with others to purchase goods in bulk and cut out items which add no value to one’s life.
Additionally, Ms. Mackey noted that there may be businesses that decide to capitalize on VAT and exercise unscrupulous actions. She advised attendees to be vigilant.
“Be on the look-out for businesses which hike prices to take advantage of customers. Make note of what you’re paying for items now, compared to when VAT comes on stream,” she stated.
Also, Ms. Mackey noted that receipts should clearly indicate the VAT amount being charged; meanwhile, consumers should be aware of items that are VAT exempted and ensure they are not being taxed on those.
Meanwhile, Ms. Mackey encouraged BTVI’s students, staff and faculty to
examine their household circumstances and make adjustments in preparation for VAT. She underscored that education is the best tool for the impending impact of VAT and it is the consumers’ duty to find out as much as possible on the proposed new tax regime.
Freelance Business Consultant Bridgette Mackey advising consumers on VAT
The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute