I have often commented on the appalling performance of our postal service, both long before and after the hurricanes. The service does not appear to have made any repairs or improvements at all. I don’t know if there is any money in the budget or the Recovery and Development Agency’s fund to replace staff, vehicles and post boxes? The person in charge (postmistress) appears to be invisible (pun intended). They do not seem to have even the money to place a couple of chairs in the public area for people waiting while their mail is retrieved from the back of the post office.

The means of getting overseas mail, especially from the United Kingdom or Europe, has not changed in years. There is some problem with a trans-shipment point, I believe?

Meanwhile, some people are still getting Christmas cards. Someone told me they had advised senders that they were going to pretend the late cards were early 2020 cards! I presume government ministers and other senior officials don’t get much overseas mail so can’t be bothered to improve the situation.

 

New situation

However, there is a new situation developing that should worry ministers, postal services, and the financial services industry. The Virgin Islands is home to many offshore companies which own rental properties in the UK: houses, office blocks, and so on. The UK Inland Revenue (income tax authorities) are moving the taxable status of these companies from an income tax basis to a corporation tax basis from April 6. Whilst many things are done by internet these days, the UK tax authorities never communicate by electronic means. Instead, they always write letters. In order to transfer status, our companies holding such properties are required to change via their registered agent (here in the VI). UK Inland Revenue will send out letters by mail to the registered agents containing a code which has a validation of one month! Good luck with that! I can see problems ahead.

If you want more details, look up www.gov.uk/guidance and select the heading “Paying corporation tax if you are a non-resident company landlord” and

“house/personal tax/non-resident landlord using an agent/adviser.”

 

Questions

The recently announced marine equipment donation is a welcome addition, but do they have a boat?

The new imaging equipment at the hospital is also great, but are they in a price war with private facilities?

As for medical marijuana, the internet information is too technical for me, but how many plants or acres does it take to make a financially viable quantity for medical use? Will this acreage take away from the newly proposed revival of food agriculture?

Is the Pockwood Pond incinerator working or not?

The Nurse Iris O’Neal Clinic on Virgin Gorda is to be handed over today. But it has only recently received donations for equipment. Will it be fully functional?

As for the BVI NOW app, will it be updated regularly? It is stated to work without internet connection, yet they will set up wi-fi spots to facilitate downloads?


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