Payroll-tax relief for taxi drivers, disabled
Taxi drivers, people with disabilities and new business owners will benefit from financial relief after The Payroll Tax Amendment Act 2018 was passed in the House with no objections.
At the same time, payroll tax on notional salaries in owner-managed businesses is set to be tightened up reaping in an estimated $10 million for the Government.
There were congratulations from both sides of the House with regards to the amendments outlined in the 2018-19 Budget by David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance.
Notionals are applied to “deemed employees” receiving an income partly or wholly through sharing the profits of the business instead of only through salaried remuneration.
The Payroll Tax Act 1995 is now to be amended to require them to declare all income received on a cash basis. The second phase of the payroll-tax increase put forward by the former One Bermuda Alliance government will not be implemented under the amendment, while taxi drivers and those with disabilities and their employers will also receive concessions.
There will be a tax relief for lower-income workers with a break for those earning less than $96,000 a year.
Opposition leader Jeanne Atherden said the measures were “very encouraging”. She made special mention of how concessions for the disabled will help to boost the local workforce.
Regarding the exception of payroll tax for new entrepreneurs in the first year of business, Ms Atherden advised that the employee should remain in the position for that year in order for the exemption to be carried for the period.
Junior Minister of Disability Affairs Tinée Furbert was particularly pleased with the incentive for those with disabilities. She said that attitudes needed to change with regard to the value of disabled people in the workplace.
“I’m very excited and thankful for the leadership of the financial team. There is a very low rate of employability,” she said.
She said she wanted to encourage employers to be comfortable with hiring people with different abilities.
The Premier said that in making the amendments, his party was fulfilling its promise to “build a better and fairer Bermuda”.
“We are doing the work that needs to be done,” he said.
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