Govt Service Fee For Payments Made By Cards

May 2, 2019

[Updated] The Government is reminding people that effective May 6, 2019, they will implement a 1.45% service fee for all payments made by debit/credit card at TCD, DPT, Accountant General Cashiers, Registry General, Health, Public Works and Parks.

A spokesperson said, “The Government is reminding the public that people who use credit cards to pay their taxes will incur a service fee to do so.

“As announced in the 2019/2020 budget, for many years the Government has been incurring millions of dollars in credit card charges due to taxpayers using their credit cards to pay their taxes,” a spokesperson said.

“Effective from May 6, 2019, the Government will start to recover these charges by implementing the 1.45% credit card service fee for all payments made by debit/credit card.

“The fee will be in effect at the following locations:

  • Accountant General Cashiers
  • Transport Control Department
  • Registry General
  • Public Works and Parks
  • Health [Maternal, Environment, Dental, Child]
  • Department of Public Transportation

“The Office of the Tax Commissioner, the Department of Planning, the Department of Customs, and Magistrates and Supreme Courts will be implementing the new service fee in the coming months, after required system upgrades.”

Update 5.29pm: Minister of Finance, Curtis Dickinson said the information above is incorrect, with the Minister saying, “Contrary to established protocols, the release was issued without my approval and without that of the Minister responsible for Communications. This is compounded by the fact that the release provides incorrect information to the public.”

His full statement is here.

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Comments (70)

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  1. Truth is killin’ me... says:

    A debit card should be labeled as cash. A debit card is NOT a credit card!

    • Question says:

      They’re just increasing our taxes by 1.45%. It’s all just an excuse.

      • My my my says:

        This government is desperate for money. Next year this fee will be 5%

      • OMG says:

        And once they implement this fee under the cover of darkness, next year they will increase it to 5%

        • OMG says:

          And if people start to pay in cash, they will just add a cash tax.

          • bluenose says:

            And hire additional Government Employees to deal with the cash.

  2. Wicket Keeper says:

    So when a government minister purchases drinks or dinner using his or her credit card….will they be okay with me adding a fee?

    I thought the PLP was for the people. So you are going to penalize the individuals that live paycheck to paycheck and rely on credit cards to get by by paking thwm pay even more.

    How about you all learn to waste lessand spend less of our money.

    • OnlytheTruth says:

      When you go to Gorhams, Masters, or any other store do you think they don’t pass on the credit card fees to the customer… Don’t be so foolish

      • inna says:

        If i go to Gorhams and buy something for $100, i will not pay Gorhams $101.45, it will be $100 that is swiped..

        When i go down to TCD, my $100 bike license fee will now cost me $101.45.

        • OnlytheTruth says:

          All every retail company that has a Merchant Credit Card machine the Bank Charges them a fee to use it…

          So retail stores factor the Banks cost into the final sale of the product…

          You to also don’t be so naive…

          • Question says:

            No. Retail stores are in competition with each other. One can’t increase prices without losing business. And they contractually cannot charge to cover credit card fees.
            The government has no competition. They take our money and now make us pay on top of taxes.

            What are we supposed to do at the airport? Carry around huge amounts of cash? It’s like these people live in the past.

          • lalalal says:

            True.. But, however when TCD (and other Government Departments) implemented CC payments some years ago there was also a raise in rates to cover this… This is nothing more than another money grab!!!

      • Get it Right says:

        Check your facts please.
        None of those stores add a surcharge for using a credit card.
        If your invoice is $100.00.
        You pay $100.00 at those stores. They absorb the fee.
        However, the Bermuda government will now charge you $101.45
        This is a big deal.

        • Thumbs up says:

          Did you go and ask the stores whether they do this or not? If not, don’t tell other people to “check their facts”

          • Ger says:

            No need to!!

            The label doesn’t have a price for cash and a price for card! You pay the same irrespective.


          • Anbu says:

            We absorb the fee. Hence why most of us dont accept american express because the fee is that much higher. We do not pass it on to the customer. Believe it if u wish. It is a fact regardless

  3. Nerd Life says:

    Im leaving…this government has forced me into brokeness

    • inna says:

      Could you imagine if it was the OBA implementing these charges?!

      The hypocrisy is astounding!

      • Fed Up says:

        I’ve been saying this for some time now. The buses, trash service, education, the mould situation and the people are all quiet. NO PROTESTING, NO BLOCKING PARLIAMENT, NO ISLAND STRIKES. The people seem content on how things are going.

        • Lloyd Van putten says:

          It’s your turn if you have a problem get your friends to protest .

          • Robert Daniels says:

            You might have a point. Fed up asks where are the protest etc.. should it not come from those who are well….FED UP?

          • andrew says:

            So i take that statement to mean you have no problem with what is going on? really?

    • Thumbs up says:

      The government or your life choices?

  4. BermieBorn says:

    Is this permitted under the Government’s merchant credit card agreement? Why not negotiate a better rate with the bank or offer a cash discount instead?

    Just another example of the PLP’s death by a thousand cuts approach to taxes.

  5. Toodle-oo says:

    Debit cards ? Really ? This must be an error. Do they not know the difference between credit cards and debit cards ? What will they do next , charge you the tax and then charge you for paying it ?

    • Sailor says:

      ummmm that’s exactly what they are doing

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Can’t get away from that , I just couldn’t quite get the words right to make my point.
        I can just see legislation next that says your tax is ‘x’ and there’s another charge for just paying it .
        May as well be like all the others who back owe $8 mill + (or is it 40 mill ? ) and just not pay the things we CAN avoid .

  6. Watcher says:

    Just another hit on Bermudian pocket. This govt are intent on hammering the people of this country rather than making sensible decisions regarding immigration to tackle the shambles they are making of the economy

  7. smh says:

    Smh. So what about the Kiosk at the airport? Not everyone carries aload of cash with them to pay for their declaration at the airport? Paying via ATM/Easy link is considered a Credit card? Please explain further what exactly we can’t use. Is it strictly a MasterCard or Visa Credit card or our local ATM cards? Thanks.

    • Shostrel says:

      The airport is not listed as one of the locations where this will occur. Nevertheless, I’d be interested to hear from someone going through the airport on May 7th to see if they are charged this additional expense.

      • Fed Up says:

        The airport, courts, planning department and others come on board at later date

      • Paula says:

        Wouldn’t the Airport fall under the Department of Customs?

  8. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The Government is reminding people that effective May 6, 2019, they will implement a 1.45% service fee for all payments made by debit/credit card at TCD, DPT, Accountant General Cashiers, Registry General, Health, Public Works and Parks”

    Ok. All Bermudians break out your old cheque books. Lets see how Government likes cashing cheques!

    • Shostrel says:

      Except you will be dinged by your bank for using a cheque. Best to use cash where possible.

      • Ringmaster says:

        I’m sure banks don’t charge 1.45% to use a cheque.

    • kim hay says:

      TCD have long since stopped accepting cheques. Learnt that from trying …

  9. PBanks says:

    It’s relentless at this point, isn’t it.

  10. Roberta says:

    I pay 50 cents to the Bank of Butterfield for EVERY transaction.
    I pay to have my car TESTED at TCD and then pay for the licensing fee.
    My health insurance increases every April. So if I get a raise, it is all shot to pot to pay all the flipping increases.
    We own our on houses but you tax us for the land WE BOUGHT bi-annually!!
    What more do you want????? Not impressed Government!!

    • CHRIS says:

      yes that is one thing i have never been able to understand: how can a govt tax LAND that is privately owned?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      You can afford a car? you must be one of those rich people that must pay their “fair share” of taxes!

  11. Fed Up says:

    This is so ridiculous, how much more can they take from us?

  12. CHRIS says:

    and where, you might well ask, is Tweedy bird and his marching/screaming minions?

  13. Baffled says:

    The government is now encouraging people to pay for TCD registration in cash at an average of $1000 per vehicle.

    I suppose this will justify putting the TCD staff behind glass, but it still seems like they are creating a soft target for robbery.

    It is more difficult to conduct fraud when the bank transactions could be matched against the TCD account payments. Now that more transactions will be in cash, the audit trail will be harder to follow, thereby encouraging fraud

    And I hope all government departments have their AML procedures in place as they might have all just become a high value dealers.

    • Bluenoser II says:

      Handling cash also comes at a cost; handling card transactions is automated and efficient. Nobody should be encouraging payment in cash.

  14. Onion Peels says:

    Will the Govt be paying a fee for a certain radio station to air this “public service announcement”?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Yes. We already know that. Old news.

  15. Kevin says:

    Tax and Spend ….we were considered extremely lucky to not be taxed to death like all the other countries we had a surplus in the Bank we made more than we spent …then came 1998

  16. sandgrownan says:

    The PLP, doing less with more. Endlessly.

  17. Onion says:

    Save credit card fees. Cost millions in extra administration to properly apply payments.

    • Bluenoser II says:

      Add in bank fees for handling cash, the additional security required for larger cash deposits, the ensuing error rate, the fraud/theft that will invariably occur, and this is an absolutely boneheaded move.

      • Onion Peels says:

        Kind of destroys their argument about being a bastion of fintech incubators as they almost insist the population carry around large quantities of cash in order to transact day to day business with government doesn’t it.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        Not necessarily. If you are correct, consider all the new jobs that will be created (cashiers, security, accountants, etc.)

        • Mark says:

          So by having to hire extra ppl and pay all the salaries they will be actually losing money

          • Joe Bloggs says:

            But it is Government job creation!

  18. question says:

    So they charge us for when we pay them tax. It’s tyranny.

  19. Concerned Bermudian says:

    Is this even legal???

  20. Wow says:

    So how many ways can you juggle a six pack and end up with seven cans? Shuffling the existing money on the island is not going to solve the problem. Stop it with the taxes and put some energy into finding ways to attract more money to the island.

    • Micro says:

      Bingo. People will curb their spending as long as more taxes are levied.

  21. Um Um Like says:

    …another great way to launder money. This will serve the criminal population well (Bermuda’s only growing segment).

    Well done PLP!

    Standing strong

  22. Sad says:

    This is absolute nonsense. I see more govt money going missing. Hmmmmm cash you say.

  23. Ringmaster says:

    Cash is the way to deal with taxes. Dollar bills or rolls of quarters.

  24. Question says:

    I’m going to pay my land tax in coins.

    • B4Premier says:

      Me too…..this is the way to PROTEST! Until they put in a rule about no coins……bunch of NUMPTIES. My infant grandbaby could do a better job of governing!

  25. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    What is it about people that do not understand that Bermuda as we knew it is FINISHED. We’re slowly circling the drain…and you can take that to the bank.

  26. Small bills says:

    Pay them in small bills. I guess this is one way to up the price without increasing it.

  27. Lulu says:

    So nowI have to walk with cash when going to TCD which is over $1000 to do my car and risk getting robbed. WOW IM DONE!!!

  28. Bullwinkle T. Mooseknuckle says:

    That money is mine…get crackin…

    These greedy baskets have to go.

  29. This tax has no justifiable reason…none whatsoever.

  30. Silence Do Good says:

    Interesting no one is blaming the Banks for all their double dipping. The bank charges you a fees to have a card, transaction fee for using the card and account fees to pay the card. Then the bank charges the vendor for transactions in processing the card not to mention all the other fees the bank charges business. The only one making out like a bandit is the banks. Government should rein in the banks for being so grabby with peoples monies and all this double dipping.

  31. M'Kay says:

    I thought I read somewhere that it’s not legal to add a charge for taking credit cards…Is that not the case?