Vanuatu has announced that the Council of Ministers has decided to freeze imposition of a number of tax and charges to shield taxpayers from the financial impact of COVID-19.
In Council of Ministers Decision No. 016 of 2020, the Government has agreed that road taxes will be waived from April 1, 2020. Further, business licence fees, other than for commercial banks, will be waived, although licensees will still be required to submit an application. The Government will not at this stage refund payments made at the start of 2020 but may consider a fair way to refund these amounts.
Property owners liable to rent tax will not have to file returns and make payments otherwise due on June 28, 2020, and December 28, 2020.
The Government has underscored that compliance obligations remain the same for value-added tax registered persons, with the due date for VAT returns and payments remaining April 27, 2020. However, for businesses unable to furnish their February 2020 VAT return and payment due to the closure of local tax offices, the due date for these returns and payments will be extended, with an announcement due on this in the future from the Government. Those meeting the new deadline for filing and payment will not be subject to late fees or penalties.