SEA: Tax Laws need to be amended to Facilitate SME Sector

SEA: Tax Laws need to be amended to Facilitate SME Sector

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Soualiga Employers Association (SEA) is calling upon the Government of Sint Maarten to show some more leniency towards the business community and primarily so to our local Small Medium Enterprise (SME) category of businesses.

SEA thinks that with leniency that should include tax holiday/exemption for local businesses for defining a period, couple with improved facilitation as it relates to immigration and labor processes for the business sector would serve as a stimulant towards increased economic activity.

SEA has taken note, that the current guidelines and requirements for businesses to obtain tax holidays do not cater to our SME sector and in particular our local businesses.

Some of these requirements include incorporation requiring an investment minimum of Naf 250,000; Must cater to cater to the hospitality sector or promote a visit to St. Maarten by foreign nationals with an investment minimum of Naf 1,000,000.

Given the aforementioned, SEA is appealing to the authority and in particular the Ministry of Finance to amend these stipulations so that our wide-ranging businesses which comprise 85 percent of our total business sector can also have a fair chance of applying for some sort of relief as it relates to tax exemption.

In SEA's opinion, an exemption for a minimum of 6 months would go a very long way for our SME sector, both new and existing.

As an employer’s association representing a wide spectrum of our community, SEA joins the call as many other institutions that include the Chamber of Commerce that has been calling for not just the establishment of businesses but also measures that would certainly ensure their growth and development. This call is extended to the assistance of even our various Taxi Associations where measures should be put in place that they can be formally recognized as a business so that certain facilities can be afforded to them.

With the requested measures, especially that of the tax exemption, SEA firmly believes this would create economic activity and have a positive effect. Thereby creating more businesses for which businesses can now re-invest and stimulate employment.

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