The Taxation regime in Trinidad & Tobago comprises a variety of taxes including both direct and indirect taxes. The regime is constantly evolving as evidenced by a number of recent changes in the law to recognise and address both domestic and international developments. In addition, plans are underway for a total overhaul of the administrative area of this structure in order to modernise the existing system.
Please note that the information contained herein may quickly become outdated, and because this is only intended to be a summary, persons contemplating doing business in Trinidad and Tobago should seek specific advice with regard to proposed or contemplated ventures.
Types of Taxes Imposed
In Trinidad & Tobago, the principal direct taxes are:
Corporation Tax: A tax on the profits and short term gains of companies accruing in Trinidad & Tobago and includes a business levy (Corporation Tax Act).
Income Tax: A tax on chargeable income of individuals accruing in Trinidad & Tobago at a flat rate of twenty five per cent (25%).
Unemployment Levy: A tax at the rate of five per cent (5%) on the profits of companies subject to the Petroleum Taxes Act.
Business Levy: A tax on gross revenue at rate of .6% payable quarterly. Final liability is off set by corporation tax payable at year end.
Green Fund Levy: A tax on gross revenue at the rate of .3% payable quarterly.
Health Surcharge: A tax levied at two rates based on income.
Petroleum Profits Tax: A tax on the profits earned by businesses in the course of petroleum operations falling under the Petroleum Taxes Act. .
Supplemental Petroleum Tax: A tax charged on the gross income of companies liable to petroleum profits tax based on the price of oil.
Property Taxes: After a six year moratorium (2010-2015) on Land and Building Taxes, the Government intends to enforce collection from 2016. The tax will be computed as a percentage of the Annual Taxable Value (ATV) of the property (land and buildings).
Withholding Taxes: A tax based on various income payments to non-residents. (Income Tax Act and Double Taxation Treaties)
The principal indirect taxes are:
Value Added Tax (VAT): A tax levied on imports and on the value of commercial supplies of goods and services. The rte of VAT is 12.5% but some services are exempt and others are zero rated.
Customs and Excise Duties: A tax on imports and manufactured goods. (Customs Act)
Import Surcharge: A tax on imports.
Stamp Duty: A tax on instruments of various kinds. (Stamp Duty Act)
Financial Services Tax: A tax on financial transactions with banks, and other financial institutions.
Motor Vehicles Tax: A tax levied on importation and sale of motor vehicles, and a motor vehicle transfer tax levied on the transfer of used vehicles.