Bahamas Repeals Hotel Guest Tax

Visitors will save 2.5% on tax on services with new regulation 

As of January 1st 2015, visitors to The Islands Of The Bahamas will enjoy a reduction in their guest tax. The Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas repealed the Hotel Guest Tax of ten percent (10%) and replaced it with a seven and a half percent (7.5%) Value Added Tax (VAT), a two and a half percent (2.5%) saving. The VAT will be charged on hotels and home rentals.  The VAT will also now apply to other services supplied to guests, so while there will be savings in some areas, guests will also see an increase in other areas.

The removal of the Hotel Guest Tax and the introduction of the VAT at a reduced rate is indicative of the government’s determination to make a vacation in The Islands Of The Bahamas the best value for money for visitors, allowing them to keep more money in their pocket to spend as they wish.   

“In implementing the most significant tax reform in the nation’s history, the Government of The Bahamas was mindful of the need to ensure the best value for money for visitor” according to Tourism Minister the Honourable Obie Wilchcombe.  

In making the announcement the Ministry of Finance stipulated that no operator or owner of holiday accommodations may collect a 10 percent Hotel Guest Tax in The Bahamas as of 1st January, 2015. VAT registrants must make provision to collect the tax for stays already booked for 2015 and any contract executed or reservation made after 31st August, 2014, is considered under the general transitional provision for VAT and as such will be presumed to have made provision for VAT for accommodations commencing on or after 1st January, 2015.

The legislation is very strict as to who may charge and collect the VAT and only VAT Registrants with a Tax Identification Number (TIN) displayed in the holiday accommodation and on a customer’s receipt will be allowed to collect the VAT. 

Media Contact: Anita Johnson-Patty|Bahamas Ministry of Tourism|ajohnson@bahamas.com