Dominican finance minister defends ITBIS
Dominican Republic Finance Minister Vincente Bengoa said the controversial Tax on the Transference of Industrialized Goods and Services, known as ITBIS, is justified in part because it prevents tax evasions by assuring the full value of an import is taxed.
Bengoa was quoted in the newspapers Diario Libre and Dominican Today as saying the 16 percent tax should rightfully be applied to the total 'value' of an import, including the base cost, insurance and freight, and tariffs.
The ITBIS has drawn criticism as being a 'tax on a tax' from opponents who see it as an unfair charge on imports collected by the Dominican Customs agency.
Bengoa said similar charges are imposed in Europe and Central America, and said consumers ultimately cover the cost. Importers, however, complain that it hurts sales by driving up the cost of imported goods.
The ITBIS is a key source of revenue for the Dominican government. ITBIS revenues surpass tariff collections by almost 50 percent.