Government listens to telcos’ worries over telecoms tax reforms; plans to table new bill in next parliamentary session

15 Sep 2011

Bermuda newspaper The Royal Gazette says the government is listening to industry concerns over the potential added tax burden of its proposed regulatory reform programme, and that it is confident it has ‘allayed these concerns in a fair and reasonable manner’. In an interview with the paper, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and E-Commerce (METEC) confirmed it had received comments from the consultation and there were concerns regarding the regulatory authority fees that were proposed in the draft bills. KeyTech Holding, the parent of Bermuda Telephone Company (BTC) and Logic Communications, has expressed fears that under the new proposals its total effective tax rate on profits would climb to more than 50%. The ministry says it has taken these feelings into account when drafting its new bill. KeyTech CEO Sheila Lines says that whilst she has not seen the latest draft of the reform document, her firm has ‘consistently highlighted to METEC our concern regarding the additional cost of the original proposed regulation on businesses already operating in a challenging economic environment’. The newspaper notes that the proposed new regulatory bill, which is designed to remove restrictions that currently limit the type of services that each carrier can provide, will be tabled in the next parliamentary session.