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.