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Capital gains tax neither on nor off the table

Curtis Dickinson, Minister of Finance, said the Tax Reform Commission would be invited to update its prior recommendations (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A capital gains tax for Bermuda is neither on the table nor off it, the Government has said.

It has invited the Tax Reform Commission to revisit its 2018 recommendations and to suggest updates.

Curtis Dickinson, Minister of Finance, said: “We are going to invite the Tax Reform Commission to look at their prior recommendations with a view to updating them in light of our current circumstances.”

Recommendations will then be considered by the Government, alongside the views from key stakeholders.

Mr Dickinson said: “I’d like to think that over the course of the last two years since I’ve been the Minister of Finance that I have demonstrated through my actions that I tend to be broadly consultative. So any recommendation coming out of the Tax Reform Commission will be shared with key stakeholders to get feedback and try to understand the impacts.”

In the Throne Speech on Friday, the Government highlighted comments made by another entity, the Fiscal Responsibility Panel, in its 2019 report, that “without addressing the unbalanced focus on taxing wage incomes rather than capital incomes, Bermuda will be shackled in its ability to increase employment, particularly over the medium to longer term”.

The panel of overseas experts, which effectively serves as the Bermuda Government's fiscal conscience, added: “We believe that it is essential to achieve greater equity by reducing taxes for those at the bottom of the pyramid while extending taxes to those with significant capital income or assets. Over the medium term, there are strong arguments, on grounds of both equity and efficiency, to move to a comprehensive and progressive personal income tax that taxes both employment and capital income, as is the case in most other countries.”

The Royal Gazette asked Mr Dickinson if capital gains tax was on the table. He said: “There is nothing on the table, there’s nothing off the table. It’s refreshing the work to see how we can develop a better framework for our taxation in Bermuda.”

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Published November 12, 2020 at 8:03 am (Updated November 11, 2020 at 6:41 pm)

Capital gains tax neither on nor off the table

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