AMCHAM urges passage of FATCA legislation

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:30

The American Chamber of Commerce is once again urging parliamentarians to pass the FATCA legislation in Parliament when the matter is debated on Thursday.

The bill is likely to go to a vote tomorrow and will require a special three-fifths majority to be passed.

Amcham issued this statement on the matter today.

"The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) has noted the progress made with the amendments to the Tax Information Exchange Bill 2016 since its introduction and subsequent re-introduction to Parliament last year. As such, we urge all Parliamentarians, especially those on the Opposition benches, to ensure the passage of the Bill when it returns to the Parliament on Thursday.

We would like to reiterate that this legislation is crucial to maintaining our positive position as a major hub for business activity in the Americas.

From the individual to the large corporation, we cannot risk the possibility of having to pay a withholding tax of 30% on cross-border transactions, which is likely to happen if we do not pass the legislation.

Such a tax will, inter-alia, drastically increase the costs of doing business, paying school fees, medical bills and sending money to relatives abroad, and will negatively impact the country’s reputation if it fails to meet its international commitments.

We are confident that our country’s political leaders will therefore act in the best interest of our country by passing the legislation.

We note that after its passage, much work will need to be done on the implementation of the Bill. Moreover, international obligations are going to require T&T to pass other major pieces of financial legislation this year.

We urge the Government to ensure that the proper consultative processes are employed and, once this is done, we urge the Opposition to work in an efficient and collaborative manner to make good use of the Parliament’s time in aiding the passage of good law."