Find Accountancy, Audit and Tax expertise in St Kitts and Nevis
There are many accountancy firms in St Kitts and Nevis, including two of the international ‘Big Four’, PWC and KPMG. St Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and therefore its auditing regulation is controlled centrally by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Banks are obliged to comply with at least the minimum International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as well as the ECCB’s requirements. The ECCB requires banks to submit an annual audit, a quarterly report of income statements and a monthly report on their balance sheets. Transparency of financial operations is important as local banks are required to publish their financial statements annually in local newspapers and to exhibit them in their offices. The Companies Act makes a clear distinction between public companies and other businesses when it comes to accounting and auditing guidelines. The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index (2011) placed St Kitts and Nevis, along with 16 others including St Vincent and the Grenadines, 183rd out of 183 countries with regard to resolving insolvency.
The St Kitts-Nevis Association of Chartered Accountants is the country’s professional body and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC), which regulates the accountancy sector in the region. The regional body is governed by a board of directors with Institutes from member countries electing a director for a two year period. The ICAC has a membership of some 3,000 qualified professionals. The Institute has put in place a series of initiatives to improve the ease with which qualified accountants can move around the region by harmonising accountancy qualifications. The University of the West Indies offers courses including accounting and the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) is operational in the country.
The statutory corporate tax rate in the country is 35% and capital gains tax is levied at 20%. Income tax and withholding tax apply to domestic companies but not offshore companies. There is no net worth tax, gift tax, turnover tax or estate duty in St Kitts and Nevis. Tax concessions on the island include those for small hotel owners which waive consumption tax and import duty on certain products. Although there is no income tax in St Kitts and Nevis, foreign nationals must have a work permit which carries an annual charge. Employed locals pay a share of their income in social security contributions which is calculated on a progressive scale from 3.5% to 12%. Under the Fiscal Incentives Act, many enterprises are eligible for rebates, tax holidays and exemptions from import customs on items relating to setting up or maintaining a business. Through arrangement with the Ministry of Finance, the Act also allows for the repatriation of profits, dividends, royalties, and imported capital. In terms of paying taxes, the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index (2011) ranked St Kitts and Nevis 133 out of 183 countries worldwide.
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