Valuation forms deadline extended to January 31

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Colm Imbert –

THE Finance Ministry announced on Monday that the deadline for the submission of valuation documents in relation to the payment of property tax has been extended until January 31.

The original deadline was November 30.

Responding to a question on the issue in the House of Representatives on November 24, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said at that time 165,000 completed valuation forms for residential properties had been submitted

A total of 200,000 completed forms is needed to reach the 50 per cent threshold required by law in order to trigger collection under the Property Tax Act.

Imbert said, “As a consequence, the Valuation Division (of the Finance Ministry) is carefully monitoring the situation and an appropriate decision (relating to any possible extension of the deadline) will be taken at an appropriate time.”

At 3.44 pm on Monday, the Valuation Division announced the new deadline.

Members of the public were reminded in the notice of the process to submit the valuation documents; places where the documents could be physically submitted in Trinidad and and in Tobago; and the division’s website (www.valuationdivision.gov.tt).

They were also reminded that failure to comply to submit the documents constitutes a criminal offence punishable by a fine of $5,000.

This notice was first published in the daily newspapers on September 6, with the original deadline of November 30, telling property owners to submit valuation return forms and accompanying documents to the division. Owners of residential, agricultural and commercial lands or a combination of these were asked to submit forms.

Apart from the notice, there was no other communication from the ministry on the extension or any related matters. Preliminary checks by Newsday showed the website was operational, though some people trying to submit forms on Monday got error messages and were unable to complete them.

Business organisations welcomed news of the extension .

TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce CEO Gabriel Faria said, “We are happy to see the Government has acceded to the request to provide an extension.”

He hoped there would be a proactive approach towards explaining to businesses and citizens about the need to pay property tax, as well helping those who may be challenged to do so”

Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce president Kiran Singh said, “The extension is much-needed as we all try to survive these perilous times.”

He congratulated Government for the extension and empathised with people who are unable to face this additional expense at this time.

The Confederation of Regional Business Chambers hailed the extension as a victory.

Co-ordinator Jai Leladarsingh said, “We thank the Government for its consideration and hope for a long-lasting collaborative relationship in the future.”

In his 2022 budget presentation in the House on October 4, Imbert said no property tax is currently being collected. Emphasis is being placed on developing the valuation roll, which is important for collection of this tax.