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4 years ago

Improving Access to HIV Services for Mobile and Migrant ...

Improving Access to HIV Services for Mobile and Migrant ...

This changed from US$10

This changed from US$10 to US$25 for non-CARICOM citizens and EC$37 to EC$50 for CARICOM citizens, expansion in VAT base – 2.1% of GDP. The Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax will stay the same but the revenue is expected to increase through tax compliance, improvements in filing rates, and collection of back taxes; excise duty on tobacco and alcohol, 0.2% of GDP in 2010. The potential revenues that can be raised for HIV & AIDS services based on the suggested funding options are: 1. Travel Tax. The challenge here is that, Antigua & Barbuda already has a number of tourist related taxes and which include a US$20 pp airport departure tax, a room tax of 8.5 % and service charge of 10%. In addition, the embarkation tax at the airport was increased to 0.2% of GDP in 2010 following the stand by agreement with the IMF. a. Based on the UNITAID rate of USD1 per passenger together with alternative rates of USD0.5 and USD0.1 estimates of additional revenue that can be raised through the inclusion of an additional tax charge per passenger has been calculated. Based on the USD1 charge an estimated USD616k could be generated from passenger arrivals. 2. Tourist Travel Insurance. Whilst no data was obtained for tourist travel insurance the market is regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRC). In order to introduce innovative financial mechanisms in the insurance industry, cognizance of the relevant legislation will be required: 3. The Property tax is currently charged at 0.2% of the properties current construction replacement costs, in respect to residential properties, although this is only charged in Antigua. There is no property tax in Barbuda. No data has been sourced in relation to the revenues generated from property tax and therefore it is not possible to estimate potential revenues from the introduction of additional taxes. 4. CIN Taxes. a. Online gambling represents an important element of business in Antigua. The industry is regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRC) and is deemed as financial institutions under Antigua law. The tax rate is based on 3% of the net winnings and the online gambling operators have an entitlement to a maximum cap of US$50,000 per month on taxes. The Commissioner of Inland Revenue has no interest in the books of the operators who pay the taxes to the full cap. The size of the industry if 2012 is estimated to be USD1m however, the possibility of further taxation within this industry 8

seems remote. The government is currently locked in a trade dispute with the United States. Antigua is currently trying to find a settlement with the US on a WTO award of USD21m when the US lost a case of the Geneva-based global trade referee agency. b. Lottery – Although there is no state owned lottery in Antigua there is an Antigua lottery which operates under the brand the ‘Caribbean Lottery’ and a operates across multi countries of Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, St Maarten, Anguilla, United States Virgin Islands and Barbados. The lottery is run by the Leeward Islands Lottery Holding Company a subsidiary of GTECH Corporation which is a lottery and gaming company. In terms of revenues there is some financial information available from GTECH however the information is consolidated to the corporation as a whole and is not disaggregated by country. c. Tobacco. The estimated market size of the tobacco industry in 2007 was USD7.82m and based on the rates of 0.5%, 0.1% and 0.05% increase could generate up to an additional USD40,000 in tax revenues. However, the caveat and the argument against further tax in this sector is related to the IMF Stand By Agreement whereby the excise tax on tobacco was increased by 0.2% of GDP in 2009 in line with agreements with the IMF. d. Alcohol. The estimated market size of the alcohol industry in 2007 was USD9.47m and based on the rates of 0.5%, 0.1% and 0.05% increase could generate up to and additional USD47,000 in tax revenues. However, as with the tobacco sector further taxation may not be an attractive option for the government as the excise tax on alcohol was increased by 0.2% of GDP in 2009 in line with agreements with the IMF. e. Remittance Tax. Based on taxation rates of 0.05%, 0.1% or 0.5% and additional USD70k could be raised through additional taxations. However, Under the Fiscal Incentive Act Tax holidays apply for foreign based companies which invest in Antigua & Barbuda and includes the right to repatriate all capital royalties, dividends and profits free of all taxes or any other charges on foreign exchange transactions. 2. Telephone Tax. There are three telecoms providers in Antigua & Barbuda and which consist of the state owned utilities company APUA, Cable & Wireless and Digicel. There is no revenue data available in specifically in relation to Antigua & Barbuda. Whilst there is some financial data available from Digicel and Cable & Wireless, at the level of Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization across the region there is insufficient data to provide a reasonable estimate of how the revenue can be disaggregated to Antigua and Barbuda. With 9

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