In this 2021 file photo, members of the public wait to file their tax returns at the Inland Revenue Division, Ministry of Finance, Port of Spain. – File photo/Jeff K. Mayers
FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert has announced that the tax amnesty has been extended to June 30. This, he said, is specifically being done to ensure those supplying goods and services to the government/public bodies are up to date with their tax payments.
Imbert announced this in the Senate on Tuesday morning during the second reading of the Finance (Supplementation and Variation of Appropriation) (Financial Year 2023) Bill, 2023.
Imbert said now that the Public Procurement Act is fully proclaimed, attention must be given to section 29 (1) (d).
It says, “A procuring entity shall ensure that suppliers and contractors have fulfilled their obligations to pay all required taxes and contributions in TT.”
Imbert said previously, most entities and State enterprises required people to provide a tax clearance certificate and discretion was often shown.
However, “There is no longer any discretion,” he said.
“Any supplier or contractor who wants to supply goods and services to the government of TT or a State enterprise or statutory authority or public bodies need to take note of this fact.”
Because of the act, he said, Cabinet decided “to allow businesses, especially small businesses, who always having trouble with their accounts and so on, a further extension of the tax amnesty.
“I signed the orders this morning.”
UNC Senator Wade Mark said the government was using this extension as a trick as, “The minster and the government are suffering from a crisis of cash, so they need the money. So they have extended the tax amnesty for yet another time to get money.”