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Published On: Tue, Aug 24th, 2021

Sarah tables the unfair taxation of the mental health professionals on St. Maarten.

Philipsburg — Member of Parliament, Sarah A. Wescot-Williams in a recent statement stated that “It has been some months now that the Association of Psychologists and Allied Professionals (APAP) has approached me regarding challenges faced by its members. In fact, nearly one year ago, the association publicly expressed its concern with respect to the continuation of mental health services by its members due to a number of reasons, such as timely payments, adjustment of tariffs and the fact that since 10-10-10, these professionals, unlike most of their peers, are still subjected to Turn-over-Tax.”

MP Wescot-Williams said that “for months I have been asking the Minister of Finance, when projected tax amendments will find their way to Parliament. It was again questioned during the budget debate, only to learn that the Minister’s tax plans will be shared at some point in the future. I guess this will not be before the tax proposals of the Country Package are worked out.

In a recent letter, the MP has directed several questions to the Minister of Finance regarding this particular Turn-over-Tax Amendment for Psychologists.

1.         Has Fiscal Affairs drafted the further report in response to the Council of Advice and has the Council of Ministers approved same?

2.         If not, why not?

3.         If yes, when was this done?

4.         When will the Parliament receive an amendment to the Turn-over-Tax ordinance, rectifying this omission?

5.         Will/can this matter be corrected retroactively, given the unequal treatment endured by the professionals in question, especially given the stressful environment in which all  of our medical professionals operate due to the Covid-19 pandemic?

“My questions serve to determine how far this process is after all this time and if necessary, to initiate an amendment to correct this situation. In perusing the relevant legislation, it is indeed an oversight, inherited from the Antillean TOT law. Curacao, who faced the same issue, corrected this matter several years ago. A correction that is quite straight-forward and does not require a major change.”, said Wescot-Williams.

“I continue to express my concern for the overall mental health of our people and for the many persons who are burdened by the weight of mental issues and stress, caused or exacerbated by the current pandemic. I take this opportunity to thank our mental health professionals, who make an extra effort to offer care during these trying times.”



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