Stamp Tax Abuse

First Published: 2011-07-06

It was with great relief to read in the Tribune Monday July 4th that the Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Zhivago Laing, has indicated government will recognize the value as stated on legal documents subject to stamp tax.

The granting of power to bureaucrats to determine the value of a transaction other than that stated on a legal document undermines the rule of law. It is discriminatory and contrary to the principles of impartial application of the law and justice.

It would be appreciated by every Bahamian if Mr. Laing were to identify the law or code that empowers a public servant to determine a valuation other than the one shown on a legal document.

If stamp tax has been paid on transactions valued by the Tax Office above that indicated on the documents, will these monies be refunded?

Arbitrary power whether used to benefit or harm is anathema to a free society. It undermines confidence and willingness to comply with the law. It will in the end destroy our country.

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