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Effective 1st February 2016, the VAT rate of 15% was reduced to 12.5% on the value of imports and the value of supplies of goods and services.  The value of goods imported into Trinidad and Tobago is the total of :

1. the value of the goods determined according to the Customs Act (c.i.f.);  together with

2. any duties, taxes (other than VAT) and other charges that are payable upon entry of imported goods.  There are special provisions for re-imports.

All businesses earning a gross income of $500,000.00 per annum and over are required to be registered with the VAT Office, Board of Inland Revenue.

VAT returns are due every 2 months (6 times per annum) and must be submitted within 8 days of the due date.  The difference between output tax and input tax is payable or refundable.

Land and Building Taxes

The Property Tax Act 2009 provided that it would come into operation on 1st January, 2010.  It repealed the  Lands and Building Taxes Act Chapter 76:04. The Act changed the assessment basis of land from assessment of the 'annual rateable' value to assessment of the 'annual rental' value. 

Rates on residential property are 3%; commercial 5%; industrial (a) 6% where the plant and machinery are housed in a building; and (b) 3% where not housed in a building.

However, a moratorium was placed on this Act by the Government in power at the time, and the Act has not been proclaimed for the past five years.

Stamp Duty

This duty is levied on instruments of all types, for example, deeds of conveyance, mortgages, debentures, trusts, leases, insurance policies, annuity policies, agreements, share transfers.  The duty is paid at the Board of Inland Revenue and a machine stamp is affixed to the instrument.

The rates vary from $25.00 on a trust deed to $4.00 per $1,000. on mortgages and charges.

Residential transfers are exempt up to $850,000.

Where the property value is more than $850,000.00 but not exceeding $1,250,000.00, the rate is 3% on the excess.

Where the property value is more than $1,250,000.00 but not exceeding $1,750,000.00, the rate is 5% on the excess.

Where the property value is more than $1,750,000.00, the rate is 7.5% on the excess.

Non-Residential Transfers

Where the consideration for the sale does not exceed$300,000.00, the rate is 2%
Where the consideration for the sale exceeds $300,000.00 but does not exceed $400,000.00, the rate is 5%
Where the consideration for the sale exceeds $400,000.00, the rate is 7%.

Motor Vehicles Taxes

Taxes are levied by reference to class or description of motor vehicle, for example, private motor cars and station wagons  fall within one class; taxis and maxi-taxis within another, and goods vehicles within a third class.

Tax is imposed by reference to engine size for all vehicles.

Customs Duties

These are levied at varying rates on customs entries in respect of imported goods according to classification in Schedules to the relevant legislation.  There are exemptions in relation to specific goods.

In all cases the basis of the duty is the c.i.f. value of the goods at the time of import. 

The rates of Custojs Duties (as per the Caribbean Community's Common External Tariff) have been gradually reduced over the years.  There is a restricted imposition of import surcharge.

The returns are made on specified forms at the port of entry to the Comptroller of Customs and Excise, and goods are released after the taxes are assessed and paid.

Excise Duties

On manufacture of beverages at rates varying from 20 cents to $148.95 per litre.  Cigarettes also attract excise duties.

Business Licences – Annual Fees

The following annual fees for business licences are applicable:

  • Betting Office - $400,000 payable to the Betting Levy Board
  • Pawnbroker - $2,500 payable to the Board of Inland Revenue
  • Auctioneer, Moneylender, Video Club – $500 each, payable to the Board of Inland Revenue
  • Liquor – Varies from $300 to $6,000, payable to Comptroller of Customs & Excise.
  • Bank - $100,000 and each Branch $10,000, payable to the Central Bank
  • Business of Financial Nature -  $50,000 and each Branch $10,000, payable to the Central Bank
  • Customs Broker - $100 and Customs Clerk - $50, payable to the Customs Brokers Board
  • Old/Scrap Metal and Marine Stores - $200, payable to the Licensing Committee.

National Health Surcharge

Health Surcharge is paid by income earners at the following rates:

Over $469.99 per month - $33.00 per month

$469.99 and under per month   -$19.20 per month

Returns and contributions are made to the Board of Inland Revenue on a monthly basis for employees and quarterly for persons with income other than employment income.

National Insurance Contributions

Returns and contributions are made to the National Insurance Board on a monthly basis for employees.  There is at present, no compulsory scheme of contributions for the self-employed.

Earning Classes and Contributions Effective 5th September, 2016 (Based on 13.2% contribution rate). 

Earnings Class Weekly Earnings           Monthly Earnings        Assumed Average Weekly Earnings       Employee Weekly Contribution      Employer Weekly Contribution      Total Weekly Contribution      Class Z Weekly   
  $ $ $ $ $ $ $
I 200.00-339.99 867-1472.99 270 11.9 23.8 35.7 1.79
II 340.00-449.99 1473–1949.99 395 17.4 34.8 52.2 2.61
III 450.00–609.99 1950–2642.99 530 23.3 46.6 69.9 3.5
IV 610.00–759.99 2643–3292.99 685 30.1 60.2 90.3 4.52
V 760.00–929.99 3293–4029.99 845 37.2 74.4 111.6 5.58
VI 930.00–1119.99 4030–4852.99 1025 45.1 90.2 135.3 6.77
VII 1120.00–1299.99 4853–5632.99 1210 53.2 106.4 159.6 7.98
VIII 1300.00–1489.99 5633–6456.99 1395 61.4 122.8 184.2 9.21
IX 1490.00–1709.99 6457–7409.99 1600 70.4 140.8 211.2 10.56
X 1710.00– 1909.99 7410–8276.99 1810 79.6 159.2 238.8 11.94
XI 1910.00-2139.99 8277–9272.99 2025 89.1 178.2 267.3 13.37
XII 2140.00–2379.99 9273–10312.99 2260 99.4 198.8 298.2 14.91
XIII 2380.00–2629.99 10313–11396.99 2505 110.2 220.4 330.6 16.53
XIV 2630.00–2919.99 11397–12652.99 2775 122.1 244.2 366.3 18.32
XV 2920.00–3137.99 12653–13599.99 3029 133.3 266.6 399.9 20
XVI 3138.00 and over 13600 and over 3138 138.1 276.2 414.3 20.72

Contributions payable by an employer in respect of employment injury coverage for an employed person who has not yet attained the age of sixteen years or who has attained the age of sixty-five years,  shall be as set out in Class Z, and for an unpaid apprentice shall be $1.00 per week.   

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