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Please note that the information contained herein may quickly become outdated, and because this is only intended to be a summary, persons contemplating doing business in Trinidad and Tobago should seek specific advice with regard to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.
This section was revised in May 2008.
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 income accruing in Trinidad & Tobago including withholding taxes on distributions of companies and payments to non-residents (Income Tax Act).
Unemployment Levy: A tax on the profits of companies subject to the Petroleum Taxes Act. (Unemployment Levy Act).
Business Levy: A tax on gross revenue at rate of .2% 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 .1% 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.
Lands and Buildings Taxes: A tax based on the assessed values of lands and buildings. (Stamp Duty Act)
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 supplies of goods and services. (Value Added Tax (VAT) Act)
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. (Stamp Duty Act)
Financial Services Tax: A tax on financial transactions with banks, and other financial institutions.
Motor Vehicles Tax: A tax levied on sale of motor vehicles.