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COCI ceases Business Inactivation Status with immediate effect

COCI ceases Business Inactivation Status with immediate effect

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - As part of the ongoing efforts to maintain accuracy of the trade registry and ensure compliance among the business community, the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) has taken the decision, and adopted with immediate effect, the cessation of the status of Inactivation.

Businesses and foundations will no longer receive an inactive declaration notice from COCI, and existing inactive businesses and foundations will have until December 31st, 2021, to re-activate or close their business and/or foundation.

In the past, the status of inactivation was implemented for the sole purpose of facilitating businesses that wished to temporarily stop their operation and to justify not filing the monthly Turn Over Tax (TOT) at the Tax Office.

While the inactivation status was initially meant to offer temporary alleviation to businesses, it has proven to have several long-term negative consequences for country Sint Maarten. The most detrimental being the inaccurate representation of the current economic climate and landscape.

This is as a result of the large majority of inactive businesses choosing to remain inactive indefinitely, instead of closing their business. In addition, the registry statistics of COCI play an instrumental role in determining the level of tax compliance on Sint Maarten.

With the recent changes to Article 25, Book 2 of the Civil Code, a legal entity must be accurately registered within the trade registry of COCI and is required to pay the annual registration fee. Failure to do so, will result in the business being de-registered from the trade registry.

In the event that a business chooses to temporarily halt its operations, but remain registered in the trade registry, the business will be responsible to maintain updated registration and payment at COCI and still file its monthly TOT at the Tax Office.

On this premise, COCI is willing to establish payment plans for businesses for a period not exceeding one year, for annual registration fees.

In the event that a business chooses to close their business, they are required to de-register at COCI. Subsequently, the business will need to provide the de-registration declaration at the Tax Office in order to avoid tax assessments.

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