The Barbados Government has introduced legislation amending the Value Added Tax (VAT) to allow for a 22 per cent tax on voice and other transmissions from cellphones.

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler told legislators on Tuesday night that the tax, which goes into effect from January 1st, next year, will raise 14 million Barbados dollars annually that would go towards a soon-to-be announced university scholarship fund.

Sinckler said the proposed changes are meant to “increase the efficiency of tax administration, provide for the imposition of Value Added Tax on certain mobile services and enhance the enforcement provisions in the Act and for related matters”.

He said contrary to popular belief, the imposition would not only affect cellphone calls, but all mobile transmitting services.

Sinckler said the range of services to be covered by the new levy included use of the Internet and other transmissions that facilitate email, Whatsapp, Skype, and much more.

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