Halkitis on Airbnb taxes: Any taxation consistent with VAT threshold

Responding to criticism from the opposition over the government’s new requirement that all vacation rental property owners register with the Department of Inland Revenue (DIR), Minister of Economic Affairs Michael Halkitis said any taxes levied against Bahamians will be consistent with the current value-added tax (VAT) threshold of $100,000 revenue annually.

East Grand Bahama Member of Parliament Kwasi Thompson, who is also the opposition shadow minister of finance, called it unacceptable that the government issued public notices telling short-term vacation rental owners that they are now required to register, adding that “Anything that is proposed must not add any more regulatory burden on the Bahamian vacation home rental hosts.”

Pointing to the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which was passed under the Minnis administration and provides for short-term rentals to be accountable and liable to pay VAT on the total value of the rental and services of each home – and also provides for properties owned by non-Bahamians to also be taxable – Halkitis said it was curious the former minister of state for finance was so critical of the new policy given that the Davis administration is only enforcing the laws changed under the previous government.

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