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Minister Irion clarifies Tax Reform concerns. Plans to engage stakeholders

Minister of Finance Hon Ardwell Irion Minister of Finance Hon Ardwell Irion

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion is seeking to alleviate confusion and encourage healthy discussions with respect to tax reform, the minister said in a press statement on Sunday evening.

In light of recent presentations, it bodes well that the community is creating a dialogue regarding the recent tax suggestions, as this was the desired effect. The Ministry of Finance has presented the suggestions in Parliament with the hopes of prompting an open discussion on Tax Reform, wherein the community would feel free to ask questions, express concerns and make constructive propositions.

The Ministry of Finance is currently engaging in a process that will include consultations with public and private stakeholders alike. These consultations will give the community the opportunity to be part of the broader and more complicated discussion on overhauling the tax system of Sint Maarten.

The suggestions presented were recommendations made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as proposed options for the implementation of a new tax system. The current tax system of Sint Maarten, inherited from the former Netherlands Antilles, is very outdated, vulnerable to abuse and not appropriate in the current economic reality of Sint Maarten.

The recommendations and proposals made by Cartac/IMF do not mean that they have been agreed upon, nor do they mean they will be implemented. For the sake of full transparency, they were presented to the public; the report has been provided to the Members of Parliament.

The objective is to engage Parliament and the public in general, as stakeholders. To facilitate progress of Tax Reform, it is important to remain clear about the facts. Tax Reform has been an objective of previous governments as it is for the current government.

It is urgently needed. However, it is not something that can be introduced overnight. It requires the proper preparation and calculations of the effects before it can be tabled in Parliament.

The Ministry of Finance seeks to provide the public with clear communication regarding Tax Reform and will do so by continuing to deliver information now and in the future.

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