BVI NEWS) – The controversial legislation mandating that a seven percent tax be taken from all monies leaving the BVI through money transfer agencies has now come into effect and seeks to fine any agency that is not compliant.

A notice published in government’s official gazette last Thursday, said the Financing & Money Services (Amendment) Act became law on Monday, May 4.

The amended law said the seven percent levy collected must be paid to the Financial Services Commission (FSC) every month unless otherwise specified by the Commission.

Non-compliant agencies to face penalties up to $5000

And if an agency fails to collect the seven percent tax or submit the proceeds to the FSC on time, they may be subjected to what is described as an ‘administrative penalty’ from the Commission.

According to the Financial Services (Administrative Penalties) Regulations, the sanction that would be imposed carries a fine of up to $5,000.

The administrative penalties regulations, however, said the Commission can take “any other enforcement action” against non-compliant money transfer agencies, except to revoke an agency’s operating license as an additional penalty for the same offence.

The monies collected from all transactions will be deposited into a fund earmarked for various national development initiatives.

While debating the amendment in the House of Assembly recently, Premier Andrew Fahie had said it is a very important development in the territory’s financial services.

He said he believes it is needed for times when economies across the world are threatened by pandemics such as COVID-19.

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