TTMA welcomes promise of VAT refunds

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TTMA president Tricia Coosal. –

THE Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) is welcoming an extra allocation towards VAT refunds spelt out by Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Monday in the House of Representatives, when he piloted the Finance (Supplementation and Variation of Appropriation) (Financial Year 2022) Bill 2022.

Imbert promised an extra $1.76 billion towards VAT refunds, out of the $3 billion variation in the budget mid year review, for a total VAT refund this fiscal year of $4 billion.

In a statement, TTMA president Tricia Coosal commended Government on stabilising the economy and positioning TT to pre-pandemic levels.

“The TTMA welcomes the positive indicators for 2022 as highlighted by the Minister of Finance, inter alia (among other things), stabilisation and reduction of public debt, Government’s overdraft with Central Bank at 50 per cent debt to GDP decreased to 77 per cent and the increase of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

“TTMA welcomes the direction of these economic indicators, which speaks to economic recovery and development.”

She said Imbert had attributed the GDP rise to improvements in several sectors of the economy, including the manufacturing sector.

Coosal looked forward to working with Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon and supporting TTMA in this upward trajectory of the economy.

“The TTMA is heartened by the Minister of Finance’s announcement of the payment of VAT returns in the amount of $4 billion for fiscal 2022-2023, with an injection of $1.6 billion for the period April-September 2022. The association has been advocating for these returns for our members for some time.”

Coosal said VAT refunds would help TTMA members, especially those in the SME (small and medium enterprise) sector, with their cash flow challenges, allowing them to buy scarce resources and other input, and invest in their manufacturing operations.

“TTMA also looks forward to a long term solution to the issue of the VAT rebate framework so as to alleviate a perennial build-up of VAT returns in the future to manufacturers and we stand ready to discuss workable solutions with the relevant authorities.”

Regarding Imbert’s statement that he would introduce the residential property tax by year-end, Coosal said, “TTMA looks forward to opening dialogue with the Government to discuss the framework for the eventual implementation of property tax on commercial property with the goal of exemption of tax on plant and machinery.”