ATTIC urges swift passage of tax bill

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 12:15

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Trinidad and To­ba­go In­sur­ance Com­pa­nies (AT­TIC) said it notes with con­cern the cur­rent par­lia­men­tary dead­lock on the In­come Tax Amend­ment Bill 2018.

The pas­sage of this bill is crit­i­cal­ly im­por­tant to en­able the coun­try to im­ple­ment the Ex­change of In­for­ma­tion Re­quest Stan­dards (EOIRS) there­by be­com­ing com­pli­ant with the Glob­al Fo­rum on Trans­paren­cy and Ex­change of In­for­ma­tion for tax pur­pos­es.

In a state,state­ment, the as­so­ci­a­tion said: “At present, Trinidad and To­ba­go re­mains the on­ly coun­try on the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nom­ic Cor­po­ra­tion and De­vel­op­ment’s (OECD) black­list of non-com­pli­ant coun­tries and the con­tin­ued fail­ure to com­ply with In­ter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tions un­der the Fo­rum could place un­nec­es­sary hard­ships on our cit­i­zen­ry, if the coun­try’s abil­i­ty to freely en­gage in in­ter­na­tion­al trade and fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions is re­strict­ed.”

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said the In­ter­na­tion­al Tax Re­view in 2017 quot­ing the then head of the OECD’s sec­re­tari­at re­port­ed that T&T’s lack of po­lit­i­cal will was the main rea­son the coun­try was in­clud­ed in the Eu­ro­pean Union’s (EU) black­list and OECD’s / G20 list for non-com­pli­ant coun­tries.

“ Un­for­tu­nate­ly, this ob­ser­va­tion seems to be still rel­e­vant giv­en the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal im­passe con­cern­ing the bill’s pas­sage. In AT­TIC’s opin­ion this is a sit­u­a­tion that is not on­ly avoid­able but one which presents a great op­por­tu­ni­ty for our par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to uni­fy be­hind a Bill which will ben­e­fit all,” the state­ment said.

It aid­ed: “We note that both the Gov­ern­ment and the Op­po­si­tion have ac­knowl­edged the im­por­tance of com­ply­ing with the Glob­al Fo­rum and there­fore join with the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty in en­cour­ag­ing them to quick­ly re­solve their dif­fer­ences and ex­pe­dite the pas­sage of this bill.