Sandals Resorts International has filed a lawsuit against
the Turks and Caicos government over a tax-related dispute involving its
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort.
The suit stems from recent allegations made by the Turks and
Caicos government, claiming Sandals is on the hook for millions in unpaid taxes.
Sandals, however, has staunchly denied the allegation, while
concurrently announcing that the company would indefinitely close the Beaches
Turks & Caicos Resort in January 2021.
"In January 2019, we filed suit against the Government
in relation to these matters and also claiming certain tax refunds," said
Beaches Resorts in a recent statement. "We wish to make it very clear that
the alleged unpaid tax of US$26,708,618 plus interest ... arose because the TCI
Government, having entered into binding host country agreement(s) with Beaches
to encourage our expansion of the hotel, undertook a tax audit and, although
finding no violation of our agreement, unilaterally and without warning imposed
back taxes in breach of the host country agreement."
Sandals went on to claim that it is the Turks and Caicos
government that actually owes money to Beaches Turks & Caicos, with refunds
related to taxes on children under 12 among other overpayments.
"There are other areas of overpayment and positive tax
adjustments which the government is required to make in favor of Beaches, and
these and other related matters are the subject of lawsuits which, regrettably,
we have been compelled to file," said Sandals.
Beaches is the largest resort on Turks and Caicos with 758