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Trinidad Goes On Tax Hunt

by Phillip Morton, Investors

21 December 2010

Trinidad and Tobago's Finance Minister, Winston Dookeran has announced the launch of a tax amnesty that is to be offered to taxpayers until May 31, 2011.

The Minister said that TTD5bn (USD800m) in taxes is outstanding, and that, after taking into account applicable penalties and interest, this figure could amount to TTD13bn (USD2bn). He called on taxpayers with outstanding tax liability to avail themselves of the scheme, stating:

“The amnesty will be offered to all resident individuals and companies who have not filed returns of income for any year up to and including the year 2009."

“The amnesty will act as an incentive for taxpayers with accrued penalties and interest to pay outstanding taxes as their total liability will be significantly reduced. Where any returns, taxes and levy remain outstanding after May 31, 2011, the penalties, interest, further taxes and additional taxes will be revived.”

He warned taxpayers choosing not to settle their tax situations that the government plans to ramp up its enforcement efforts. Dookeran stated:

“After the amnesty period, the State will utilize the full extent of its legislative authority to ensure that compliance with the relevant Taxation Acts is followed as government seeks to make good on its tax receivables and broaden and diversify its tax base,” he said. "[At which point] the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) will aggresively pursue enforcement actions [on] delinquent accounts," the Minister warned.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | interest | Trinidad and Tobago | enforcement | penalties

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