Vanuatu Government increases minimum wage effective 1 January 2018

Following on from the recently announced increase in the VAT rate to 15%, the Government has also approved an increase in the minimum wage from VT170 per hour to VT200 per hour effective 1 January 2018. Employers are advised to review and adjust staff salaries if required. A summary of the impact of the increase is shown below.

Full-time employee 40 hours per week 44 hours per week
Old monthly salary (gross): VT29,467 VT32,414
New monthly salary (gross): VT34,667 VT38,134

The change represents a 17.64% wage increase to workers on the minimum wage. Employees earning more than the minimum wage are not affected.

Happy New Year to all workers!

Official Gazette No. 96 of 2017 (dated 29 December 2017)

VAT increase starting 1st January 2018

The Government of Vanuatu has officially advised that Value Added Tax rate will increase from 12.5% to 15% from next Monday 1 January 2018.

A summary of how the rate change will impact your business is as follows:

Businesses registered for VAT on a payments basis

  • Payments received or made on or after 1 January 2018 for invoices issued on or after 1 January 2018 will attract the new rate of 15%.
  • Payments received or made for invoices issued before 1 January 2018 will remain at 12.5%. However an adjustment will be required on your VAT return to correctly account for it. Details are in the Transitional Guide released by the VAT Office.

Businesses registered for VAT on an invoice basis

  • If the invoice was issued before 1 January 2018, the old rate of 12.5% applies (and will be included in that period’s VAT return).
  • If the invoice is issued after 1 January 2018, the new rate of 15% applies.

Clients are reminded that the next two VAT returns (due on 5th January and 27 January 2018) relate to the period’s November and December 2017 respectively, and therefore the old rate of 12.5% still applies when calculating VAT payable/refundable.

Businesses utilising computerised accounting systems such as Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks, Opera, RoomMaster, etc. will need to manually update the tax rate in these systems on Monday 1 January 2018 to ensure that the correct VAT rate is charged. Please contact your software support provider/preferred advisor should you require assistance with this.

Additional documentation

Official Gazette No. 95 of 2017 (dated 22 December 2017)

VAT Rate Change – Notice to retailers

VAT Rate Change – Calculations

Customs VAT Rate Change – Calculations Bislama 291217

Customs VAT Rate Change – Notice to retailers Bislama 281217

Customs VAT Rate Change – Calculations French 291217

Customs VAT Rate Change – Notice to retailers French 281217

Martin St-Hilaire Interviewed by Vila Times

Read the interview our Managing Partner Martin St-Hilaire gave to Vila Times last week. It’s about Vanuatu’s financial sector and its future, the Income Tax, and the EU “bullying” Pacific tax havens.

Read the full article on Vila Times website.

Cover photo by Phillip Capper