Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Lesson in Bahamian "Income Taxes."

First I called the production house to obtain the DHL tracking number for the (hopefully) final proof copy of the book.  Next, I contacted the local DHL office and was told that the package had arrived on Monday, yesterday, and was being held for payment. As this was news to me, I asked - payment for what?




Turns out that although Bahamas has no income taxes, fees and taxes are charged on certain items.  (In retrosepct, I knew that, but naively thought that the production house was paying any fees.)  These fees are referred to as "duties."  Typically, somewhere around 70% of Bahamian government revenue is derived from the duties which apply to nearly all imported goods. In a nutshell, that meant that I was being charged $10 Stamp Tax and $15 Broker Fees for a small, thin paperback book, the same exact item that arrived free to me while in Colorado/The Good Old USA.  Brother - I had not thought of this, for sure.  On top of these unexpected charges, DHL would not have contacted me had I not contacted them! 

In a few hours, when the bustle of Nassau is in full swing, I'll drive over to Post Boxes Etc., where my mail is delivered, pay PBE $25, and in turn, PBE will call DHL and authorize the delivery of the package to PBE.  At that point, I'll wait impatiently for PBE to call ME to say that the package arrived.  I'll drive back to PBE and collect said package.  Geese, for something meant to be expedited smoothly, I'm already tired thinking about it. (Good.  Maybe now I can go back to sleep.)  But, it makes me wonder what the process and fees will be for a full shipment of the real thing:  the paperback and hard cover books!  To be certain, I won't be using DHL.  No sir.

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