By Aabigayle McIntosh
An official from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is urging the public, as they prepare for the back-to-school season, to ensure they acquire the items specified in the government-issued list to take advantage of the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) relief.
To alleviate the financial burden on parents, the government has waived the ABST for essential back-to-school items from September 1st to September 2nd, mirroring the ABST reduction weekends typically seen during the holiday season.
Jermaine Jarvis, Deputy Commissioner of the IRD, expressed uncertainty regarding the extent of public participation in this tax relief initiative, given that many individuals may have already completed their back-to-school shopping.
“Most people would have shopped already, but you would see a spend for those two days for persons who are essentially waiting to get paid,” Jarvis said.
Several parents and guardians are, however, of the view that the offer was made too late.
Another Caribbean country, St Kitts and Nevis, also offers its citizens relief. The government is offering vouchers valued at 250 EC$ to parents in commemoration of its 40th anniversary of political independence.