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CASE STUDY:The Bahamas Department of Inland Revenue

The Bahamas Department of Inland Revenue

The Bahamas use RMS to successfully process new VAT 100% electronically

The Government of The Bahamas chose RMS to minimise the cost of administering their new broad based value added tax (VAT) whilst making it easy for taxpayers to comply. VAT is processed 100% online in a completely paperless environment.

The results have surpassed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) initial estimates. Due to the success of the tax reforms and their implementation, the Government now expect to generate more than $500 million in new Government revenues by 2017.

These funds will be used to reduce the Government deficit and advance public infrastructure and services throughout the nation.

The background

Following a competitive international tender, DataTorque was contracted in January 2014 to implement RMS for the Government of The Bahamas to manage the introduction of their new VAT. Historically The Bahamas has had a limited tax regime, and a primary driver of VAT has been to broaden the tax base and increase government revenues to position the country for growth.

The approach

Introducing VAT is the centrepiece of the Government’s tax reform agenda and is the first broad-based tax in The Bahamas. Its introduction faced some major challenges. This included establishing a new Central Revenue Administration (CRA) to administer all taxes and implementing a revenue collection framework that was easy to use to encourage voluntary compliance within a new taxpayer community. 

RMS went live successfully less than 10 months from contract signing. This meant taxpayers were able to register online before VAT was introduced on 1 January 2015. The RMS solution has now been expanded to manage the other tax types, including Business Licenses.

The solution provides taxpayers with the ability to register, file and pay online (zero paper) and supports taxpayers with online enquiries, training and tutorials. 

Success stories so far

  • Over 6,000 taxpayers registered online in the first 6 months - 1,700 more than estimated with 2,700 voluntary.
  • During the first quarter over 90% of monthly filers completed their returns online and on time. 
  • Total VAT collections are ahead of projections for the first six months of the year. 



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