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IMF Advises Trinidad And Tobago To Widen VAT Base

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

22 March 2016


Trinidad and Tobago has scope to further broaden the value-added tax (VAT) base and increase some excise taxes, which are low by the region's standards, according to Elie Canetti, leader of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to the country.

Canetti noted in a statement following the annual Article IV consultation with the country that the Government has already widened the VAT base and taken other measures to consolidate public finances. However, he said that these measures are insufficient to tackle the budget deficit, which the IMF predicts will reach 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year.

The official said that Trinidad and Tobago should undertake further fiscal consolidation, "perhaps of around six percent of GDP over the next few years."

"The Government has already identified additional measures that could meet some portion of this, including improving tax collections (with the help of a unified revenue authority), increasing gaming taxes, and reintroducing property taxation," he said.

TAGS: tax | economics | value added tax (VAT) | property tax | fiscal policy | gross domestic product (GDP) | budget | International Monetary Fund (IMF) | Trinidad and Tobago | tax reform | standards

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