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CORPORATE TAX AMNESTY.- Here’s some good news

We wish to advise that there is a three month tax amnesty in effect starting from Mid June 2019. It’s a great opportunity to regularize your tax affairs. Give us a call and we will be happy to advise you.

What is the amnesty about?:

The tax amnesty is a facility whereby penalties and interest on outstanding tax liabilities are waived, provided that the principal amounts are paid within the period specified in the Act, i.e 15th June to September 15th 2019

What taxes are covered by the amnesty?:

All tax types are covered under Tax Amnesty 2019.  They include in­di­vid­ual, cor­po­ra­tion, pe­tro­le­um prof­its, sup­ple­men­tary prof­its, val­ue-added, pe­tro­le­um levy, green fund, busi­ness levy, ho­tel, in­sur­ance and a num­ber of oth­er tax­a­tion mea­sures.” In­ter­est and penal­ties will al­so be waived on gam­bling and casi­no tax­es, as well as land and build­ing tax­es.

What are the applicable years covered by the amnesty?:

The Tax Amnesty relates to all established liabilities on taxpayers’ accounts. It also includes any tax liabilities that may be applicable to returns not yet filed for income years 2013-2018.

HIGHLIGHTS- BUDGET 2019

Mr. Colm Imbert read the 2019 budget in Parliament on 1st October, 2018. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS-

INCOME TAX
Income tax rates of the first million of 25% income earned, 30% on any balance thereafter.
CORPORATION TAXCorporation tax rates remain the same at 30% for companies in all industries except the banking industry which has a rate of 35%.
VAT
The VAT rate is 12.5% and a VAT threshold of $500,000
Sole Proprietor/Self employedFor sole proprietor’s the threshold for business levy increase from $200,000 to $360,000.
Individuals per annumAdditionally, the tax allowance for tertiary education will increase from $60,000 to $72,000
Self Employed The Board of Inland Revenue Department is expanding the staffing in the Audit and Taxpayer Departments by employing 150 additional staff to support members of the public in filing their taxes. These new officers have a targeted focus on the self-employed including doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals as well as small and medium-sized organizations with a view to making good on the revenues due and receivable to the State. The BIR is also building capability in the Customs and Excise Division to ensure that tax collection reaches optimal levels.
AllThere will be an increase in penalty from $3,000 to $10,000 due to submission of fraudulent documents to support claims when submitting TD1s.
AllThe rate of interest for late payment of taxes will increase from 15% to 20% per annum.
AllThe penalty for fraudulent offences will increase from $50,000 to $250,000.
AllProperty Tax: Notices to property owners will be issued for payment of Property Tax for the year 2019. This Tax will not be retroactive but will commence from the year 2019.
AllThe threshold on stamp duties for residential proparties to be increased from $850,000 to $1.5m. This is effective 1st January, 2019

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO REVENUE AUTHORITY (TTRA)

What is the Revenue Authority?

The Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority (TTRA) is the new proposed agency for the collection of taxes, investigation into tax evasion, the conduct of audits of tax payer’s books and for border protection. It will replace the existing Board of Inland Revenue and the customs and excise division.

When will it come into existence?

The TTRA bill is currently before a joint select committee of parliament after which it will be laid in the House of Representatives. It could be a matter of months before the legislation is passed.(and is planned by the government to become law within a year)

How is it different from the old tax collecting system?

It is intended to eliminate corruption from the existing system and will be faster and much more agile than what existed before. The TTRA is moving to online submission, payment and collection of taxes. All intended to be faster, more efficient and transparent.

What are the TTRA’s powers?

It will have powers to revamp and modernize the tax collection systems. The staff will be highly skilled and performance driven. It will make use of up to date computer technologies to identify the tax paying public and to ensure that everyone pays the taxes the TTRA believe are owed. Remember once you have a bank account, all your transactions can be inspected by the TTRA.

What will it do?

It will enforce the tax laws. Did you know the law requires every person engaged in any trade, business, profession or vocation to keep proper records and books of accounts, including records of annual inventory (stock). These records must be in the English Language and must be kept in the place of business or at the residence of the proprietor. Did you know that it is the law that the small business person MUST file an income tax return every year?

How will it affect me?

If you are self-employed as a doctor, lawyer, hairdresser, builder, mechanic, doubles vendor or if you run any kind of small business you should be keeping proper books of account, generating financial statements, submitting tax returns and paying taxes if necessary.

What happens if I don’t comply?

The TTRA has the power to audit your books and make you pay penalties and fines for unpaid taxes on previous years as well as the current year. Not keeping proper books and records in itself can incur fines. Penalties and fines can be up to 100% of unpaid taxes.

What to do to avoid these fines and penalties?

Have your accounts and business affairs in order or have a reputable financial company do this for you. Give us a call.

Give us a call. We would be happy to advise you.