The Evolution of COTA

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1 40 th Anniversary Newsletter COTA Issue No.: 40 July 2012 ISSN In This Issue. The Evolution of COTA 1 COTA Through the Years 2-4 COTA s Future Direction 5 Message by the President of COTA on its 40 th Anniversary 6 Message by the Executive Secretary of COTA on its 40 th Anniversary 7 Message from The Bahamas on COTA s 40 th Anniversary 8 COTA s 22 nd General Assembly and Technical Conference 9-10 Tax Administration in Trinidad and Tobago - 50 years And Counting Faces of COTA Culture Cross-Point - Trinidad and Tobago 17

2 The Evolution of COTA The Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators (COTA) was conceived by the Department of Government of the University of the West Indies at its Mona Campus in Jamaica. The University then took the initiative to convene the First Conference of Regional Tax Administrators, which was held at the St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago in April The broad underlying concept of COTA was enshrined in a Resolution adopted at this Conference which recommended the establishment of a regional organization to promote and develop efficient tax administration in the Member Territories. This Resolution referred to the impending discontinuance of particular specialized advisory and training services in tax administration then provided by the Overseas Territories Income Tax Office (OTITO) in the United Kingdom and the fear that the withdrawal of these services would impact adversely on regional tax administrations. Therefore, conceptually COTA was established to create a forum for Regional Tax Administrators. The Standing Advisory Committee which was appointed to complete the proposals for a regional organization used the Inter American Centre of Tax Administrations (CIAT) Constitution as a model since it was the only wellfunctioning organization of the type contemplated at the time. The proposals for the Constitution were adopted on 26 August 1971, during the Administrative Session of the The 1970 Conference took the decision to approach the Trinidad and Tobago Government to obtain the use of its Tax Department for the purpose of acting as an interim Secretariat to produce and circulate a quarterly Regional Tax Administration Journal; coordinate the negotiations for the establishment of the Regional Organisation and Secretariat; and plan and organize the proposed inaugural conference. The Concept meet and discuss their mutual problems; share and exchange information, experiences, experts, expertise and training facilities; facilitate collaboration in the development of joint programmes; and generally, assist each other to raise the standard of tax administration in the Region to uniform level and thereby enhance the services provided to tax payers and to Governments. Second Regional Conference, which was held in Castries, Saint Lucia. The recommendation for the establishment of COTA, and an amended Constitution were accepted by the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the Seventh Conference in October Since its establishment, COTA has operated under the aegis of the CARICOM Secretariat whereby the Officer advising the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community on Tax Administration serves as the Executive Secretary of COTA (1998 Resolution and Amendment of COTA Constitution). Through this executive arrangement, the CARICOM Secretariat provides oversight of COTA s strategic objectives and facilitates the coordination of its activities. All Member States and Associate Members of CARICOM are members of COTA which meets in General Assembly biennially and whose affairs are managed by an Executive Council which meets twice each year. A Technical Conference for Tax Administrators is usually held at the same time as the General Assembly which culminates with an Administrative Session for Members. 1

3 COTA Through the Years Since 1972, COTA has worked steadfastly to advance the interests of tax administrations in the Caribbean Community. Under the guidance of Mr. Carlyle (Carey) Thompson and Ms. Marva Lee former Tax Advisers to the Secretary General of CARICOM and COTA s former Executive Secretaries, COTA has sought to inculcate a culture of information exchange, experience sharing and joint training among tax administrations. Efforts have also been made to establish and maintain relations with other tax organizations in the Western Hemisphere and the Commonwealth as well as with other Regional Organisations and Institutions. Over the years, the affairs of COTA have been efficiently steered by a succession of Executive Councils which have focused on organizing the provision of targeted support to tax administrations in a variety of areas. Such support has included a highly praised tax law and practice programme (which was discontinued due to resource constraints); various management development training programmes to assist tax reform and modernization efforts; a trainers for trainers distance learning programme to build capacity in tax administrations; and in country assistance on request. ` COTA s PRESIDENTS PRESIDENT COUNTRY YEAR Ms. Sabina Walcott Denny Barbados Ms. Marilyn Ordonez Belize Mr. James Charles Saint Lucia Mr. Ehurd Cunningham The Bahamas Mr. Clive Nicholas Jamaica Ms. Alma Dougan (OBE) St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ms. Sabina Walcott Denny Barbados Mr. Trevor Brathwaite Saint Lucia Ms. Haseena Ali Trinidad and Tobago Ms. Geraldine Davis Belize Mr. Heron Edwards Antigua and Barbuda Mr. Orville Belle Barbados Ms. Alison Lewis St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mr. Edgar Heyligar Guyana Ms. Mazie Distine Jamaica Mr. Vernon Harding Montserrat Mr. W. James Trinidad and Tobago Mr. C. Thompson Montserrat 1976 Mr. A. De Buc Jamaica 1975 Mr. W. Devonish Guyana 1974 Mr. S. M. Supersad Trinidad and Tobago

4 Focus on Training COTA s focus on training has been unparalleled and after many years of advocacy and several proposals, COTA is proud to be associated with the decision of the University of the West Indies to launch a Master of Science in Taxation from September This programme will allow for the emergence of certified tax professionals and will lift the quality of tax administration within the Caribbean Community. Information Dissemination COTA s advocacy has also been instrumental in the creation of the CARICOM Online Tax Database which will be launched publicly during the second half of This database will serve as a repository of tax related data and information on COTA Members. Additionally, the COTA Essay Competition is another initiative which serves to create public awareness, spread goodwill and enhance the image of Tax Administrations across the Caribbean. Prizes are presented to the students who have submitted the 3 best essays in the Regional Competition and the schools which the students attend. Ms Jeneé Williams, the 2010 Winner Notwithstanding the emphasis on professional development, COTA is also interested in encouraging other kinds of interaction among tax administrators across the Region. In this regard, COTA actively participated in the Caribbean Inland Revenue Games which was held in Grenada during the Eastern weekend this year. COTA will continue to show its support for the Games by presenting the Host of the Games with the Spirit of COTA Award (SOCA) in recognition of Cooperation, Harmony and Goodwill among Caribbean Tax Administrations. [The SOCA being presented By Ms Sabina Walcott Denny, Commissioner of Inland Revenue (Barbados) and President of COTA, to Representative of Grenada, Host of 2012 Inland Revenue Games] 3

5 Tax Advisory Body Moreover, COTA has functioned as an effective tax advisory body and has facilitated the achievement of tax related objectives in the Caribbean Community. The Intra CARICOM Double Taxation Agreement which has been in existence among CARICOM States since 1994 and the work towards a CARICOM Corporate Tax Instrument are examples of COTA s input to the work of the Community. Discharging the Mandate General Assembly 2010 (Barbados) Since 1980, the COTA General Assembly has met bi annually and the technical conference has evolved from primarily guest presentations to the majority of technical papers being submitted by CARICOM tax administrators. After 40 years and on the brink of its 22 nd General Assembly and Technical Conference, COTA has indeed come of age. 4

6 COTA s Future Directions COTA Executive Council [front left to right: back row Mr. Talmon Brice (The Bahamas), Ms. Allison Raphael (Trinidad and Tobago) Ms. Evelyn Wayne (CARICOM Secretariat), Mr. Kent Clare(Belize) and front row Mr. James Charles (Saint Lucia), Ms. Adria Sonson (Saint Lucia), Ms. Sabina Walcott Denny (Barbados), Ms. Hema Khan (Guyana) and Mr. Ainsley Powell (Jamaica)] The 36 th Meeting of the COTA Executive Council (Guyana, May 2011) endorsed the Strategic Plan for COTA for implementation. This Plan is intended to provide a response to the needs of COTA Members as they proceed with tax reform and modernization efforts at the national level, as well as, the opportunities and challenges being faced in the current economic environment. Over the next three (3) years, COTA will work towards targeting its support to Tax Administrations within the context of Members reform and modernization programmes, obligations under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), as well as, their international commitments. The strategies and initiatives to be undertaken by COTA in the short to medium term will be guided by 6 Strategic Directions Promote professionalism and ethical behavior in all Tax Administrations Develop a direct source of funding for COTA s programmes and projects Promote and facilitate enhanced cooperation and collaboration among Members and with other international tax Strategic Directions Enhance the organization s visibility both regionally and internationally Function as a Policy Advisory Body in CARICOM on tax related matters Promote tax cooperation and harmonization in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Community, in general 5

7 Message by the President of COTA on its 40 th Anniversary Ms. Sabina Walcott Denny Commissioner, Inland Revenue Barbados The Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators (COTA) is celebrating its 40 th anniversary. As President of COTA I extend congratulations to the organisation, its Past Presidents, Executive Secretaries, Members and other persons who have contributed to its resounding success. For me it is a privilege to be associated with COTA for twenty years. In 1972, the Standing Committee of Ministers of Finance, a body of CARICOM issued a Standing Order which established COTA. The overall purpose of COTA is essentially to facilitate functional cooperation and collaboration among tax administrations in order to improve efficiency in revenue mobilisation in the Community. Over the years COTA has given significant support to all its members and has Functioned as a Policy Advisory Body in CARICOM on tax-related matters; Provided a forum for networking and exchange of experiences amongst tax officials; Conducted several training programmes for tax administrators in the areas of policy and tax administration including auditing and collection; Promoted professionalism and ethical behaviour in all Tax Administrations; Facilitated enhanced cooperation and collaboration among members and with other international tax organizations; Promoted tax cooperation and harmonization in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Community, in general; Established a technical working group to deal with technical issues; Conducted Essay Competitions for school children in the member countries; Held a General Assembly and Technical Conference biennially; and Conducted Executive Council Meetings twice a year. On this 40 th Anniversary my wish is for COTA to continue to serve its members for many years. I am confident it will. Long live COTA! 6

8 Message by the Executive Secretary of COTA on its 40 th Anniversary Ms. Evelyn Wayne Programme Manager Macro Economic and Trade Policy Coordination CARICOM Secretariat And Executive Secretary of COTA The Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators (COTA) is symbolic of the best tenets of regional cooperation and collaboration as espoused by the Founding Fathers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Indeed, 2012 marks 40 years since the acceptance of the COTA Constitution by the Caribbean Heads of Government. As such, COTA pre-dates the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas which established the Caribbean Community and which can only boast 39 years. Moreover, tax administrators have blazed a trail of cooperation initiatives over the years, the flagship of which, is the drafting of the Intra-CARICOM Double Taxation Agreement. This Agreement is unique among contemporary tax treaties in that it seeks to protect the taxing rights of all signatories and at the same time encourages the expansion of entrepreneurial activities across the Community so critical to promoting growth and raising the level of development of our countries. Over the years COTA has evolved into an advisory and advocacy body without losing sight of its original objective to promote and develop efficient tax administration in its Members. In this regard, COTA has served as a forum for the sharing of experiences and expertise and for the coordinated training of tax administrators in the Caribbean. On the brink of implementing its second strategic plan, COTA must strive towards becoming self-sustaining and less dependent on development partners to advance initiatives such as our Essay Competition. Therefore, as COTA celebrates its 40 th Anniversary, tax administrations are to be congratulated for the support they have provided to their organization s growth and development over the years. COTA is clearly a cornerstone of the Community s institutional architecture. With the continued support and cooperation of tax administrators, COTA will, no doubt, emerge into the future as a premier training and tax advisory body and repository for tax-related information on the Caribbean. CONGRATULATIONS COTA! Look forward with anticipation to another 40 years of service to tax administrators in the Caribbean!! 7

9 Message by The Bahamas on COTA s 40 th Anniversary Mr. Talmon Brice Assistant Director of Revenue The Bahamas The Revenue Section at the Ministry of Finance in The Bahamas would like to wish the Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators (COTA) a happy 40 th Anniversary. Your assistance to The Bahamas over these many years has been invaluable. Your ability to facilitate the interaction of Tax Administrators throughout the Region so that ideas, experiences and expertise can be shared has greatly assisted in strengthening tax administration, not only in the individual member countries but the Region as a whole. The Bahamas, as well as, the Region is that much better in its collection of taxes as result of participating in this organization. Again, thank you very, very much for your assistance and we wish you every success in the future. COTA AWARDS Spirit of COTA Award Retiree Appreciation Award Essay Competition Award 8

10 COTA 22 nd General Assembly and Technical Conference The Inland Revenue Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of Trinidad and Tobago will host COTA s 22nd General Assembly and Technical Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Portof Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from July Your Hosts Ms Deokie Hosein Chairman, Board of Inland Revenue Ms. Allison Raphael Commissioner, Inland Revenue The theme for the 2012 General Assembly is Building Resilience in Tax Administrations through Innovation and as in previous years, the Technical Conference will be used as a forum to encourage deliberations on topical issues related to tax reform and modernization, as well as, the sharing of experiences among Tax Administrators in the Caribbean Community. The Opening Ceremony which will be held on the morning of 16 th July will feature an address by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Government of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as, recollections of COTA in honour of the 40 th Anniversary. A Keynote Address by Mr Maurice Suite, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Trinidad and Tobago on Innovation as a Tool to Achieve Efficiencies and Enhance Revenue Mobilisation will be followed by 4½ days of informative and stimulating presentations and discussions by Members and Guests. Additionally, there will be a Special Session with the International Monetary Fund in collaboration with the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes on Current Tax Issues in the Caribbean. An entertainment-packed Social Programme will allow Participants to continue the interaction beyond the Conference Room. Administrative Session The Administrative Session of the General Assembly will review the activities of COTA and endorse the work plans for the roll out of the new COTA Strategic Plan for COTA Members will elect a new Executive Council (comprising a President and 5 Members) to oversee the affairs of the Organisation during the period. COTA Members will also consider a motion for the admission of COTA s first Associate Member. 9

11 Appreciation Awards COTA will continue its decision to honour Retired Tax Administrators who have served on the COTA Executive Council. This year, the Executive Council has announced that Appreciation awards will be presented to Ms. Haseena Ali (former Chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue) President of COTA representing Trinidad and Tobago ( ); Ms. Marilyn Ordonez (former Commissioner of Inland Revenue) President of COTA representing Belize ( ) and Ms. Carmen Sukhoo Pertab former Administrative Assistant assigned to the COTA programme, CARICOM Secretariat ( ). The Awardees COTA Essay Competition The Third COTA Essay Competition was launched in March 2012 for mid level secondary school students between the ages of thirteen (13) and fifteen (15) years old as one of the activities to commemorate COTA s 40 th Anniversary. The topic for the competition was the Tax Administration plays a critical role in my country's development. How can I use Information and Communication Technology to enhance my country's tax administration's capabilities so as to generate greater resources for national development? 29 entries were received for the Regional Competition and the winners of the three (3) best entries will be announced during the General Assembly. Prizes!!! IPAD for Students Laptop Computer for Schools Prizes for the winning students and their respective schools were provided by the Income Tax Department of Belize and the Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) Inc. 10

12 Tax Administration in T&T - 50 Years and Counting As Trinidad and Tobago celebrates its 50 th Anniversary of Independence, We, as a people, are proud of our many accomplishments including our robust Tax Administration system. THE ORGANISATION The Inland Revenue Division falls under the ambit of the Ministry of Finance and is the largest collector of revenue for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The Division is managed by The Board of Inland Revenue; duly constituted by the Income Tax Act Chapter 75:01, Section 3 and currently consists of five Commissioners, one of whom is appointed by the President to be Chairman. The Department was established by an Act of Parliament in 1942, to administer the Income Tax Laws of Trinidad and Tobago. In 1966, major changes to the functions and management of the Division were introduced including the establishment of the Board of Inland Revenue consisting of three Commissioners and the introduction of Corporation and Withholding Taxes; Petroleum Tax was introduced in 1974 and the Value Added Tax in A Taxpayer Assistance Section was introduced in 1968 in an attempt to aid voluntary compliance and the Division was reorganised along functional lines. The processing function was also computerised during this period. The primary goal of the Division like any other revenue agency is the collection of taxes and duties payable in accordance with the law in an equitable manner that will sustain confidence in the tax system and its administration. Trinidad and Tobago Tax System The tax system in Trinidad and Tobago is based on a voluntary compliance and self assessment. In 2006, the Government in keeping with international trends and in an effort to simplify the tax system introduced a flat rate of 25% for individual income tax. Additionally from the income year 2001, persons with employment income only no longer has an obligation to file an income tax return. The table which follows provides details of the movement of the tax rates over the period 1999 to current. Tax Type/Rates (%) to date Income Tax First $ 50,000 of Chargeable Income (Flat Rate) Over $ 50, N/A Corporation Tax On Chargeable Profits

13 CURRENT INITIATIVES BY THE INLAND REVENUE DIVISION The Board has a continuing remit to implement systems and procedures which will facilitate voluntary compliance and detect areas of non compliance. Hence over time the Inland Revenue Division has engaged in a series of reform initiatives to remain relevant and fulfil our mandate. Tax Administrations exist in a dynamic everchanging environment. Globalization has given rise to an increase in cross border transactions by multi national organisations and E commerce. This has allowed the informal economy to flourish and resulted in greater challenges with tax administration. SUMMARY OF RECENT INITIATIVES Integrated Tax Processing System (2008) Develop and Implement a Headquarters function for the Division based on the 1996 recommendations from the IMF TAX REMITTANCE SYSTEM MAJOR UPGRADE IN (2005) YEAR Criminal Tax Investigation Unit 2004 Inland Revenue Division Website 2004 Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Database 2004 According to Tanzi and Pellechio ( A Country s Tax Administration represents an institutional arrangement in which citizens fulfil their obligations to Government. Tax Administrations should therefore strive to be both effective and efficient Integrated Tax Processing System (GenTax) Recognising the need for closer analysis of our Organisational Risk, Internal Controls and Compliance capabilities to mitigate those risks and reduced the levels of non compliance; an Integrated Tax Processing System (ITPS) was successfully implemented over a three year period ( ). This system provides an integrated view of all taxes for which a taxpayer is registered and provides for a comprehensive analysis of data collected. GenTax also facilitates the storage and manipulation of large volumes of data from external sources for cross matching with information previously processed and stored. The cross matching of data facilitates the identification of under reporters, stop filers, non filers and potential fraud cases. Rationalisation of the Compliance Unit included attempts to effectively manage the taxpayer base; hence the Compliance and Audit functional areas were divided into Small and Medium Sized Taxpayers and Petroleum and Large Taxpayers Business Unit (Energy and Non energy). 12

14 T&T Inland Revenue Division - IMPACT OF INITIATIVES The Petroleum and Large Taxpayers Business Unit (PLTBU) has responsibility for the management of the tax affairs of Large and Specialized groups of taxpayers including International Taxation. This Unit manages five hundred and seventy (572) taxpayers contributing to approximately 75% of the total tax revenue of T&T. Rationalisation of the Compliance Unit The Small and Medium Size Taxpayers Unit is responsible for the monitoring of the wider taxpayer base of approximately 14,000 active business taxpayers and all individuals who are required to submit returns. The unit seeks to improve voluntary compliance through effective targeting in its audit programme and other compliance monitoring activities. The Criminal Tax Investigation Unit has provided the concomitant administrative capacity to deal with all criminal violations, signaling to the national community that the Division now possesses the ability to swiftly and effectively prosecute. This in turn serves as a strong deterrent against further violations and would be violators. The overarching intent of the unit is to aid in the overall reduction of the tax gap. With the increase in multinationals operating within our jurisdiction and an increase in the complexity of business arrangements and mergers there are greater opportunities for tax evasion and the eroding of the tax base. The effective operation of the PLTBU has growing significance for the continued effectiveness and efficiency of the Inland Revenue Division The Integrated Tax Processing system s powerful data mining capabilities is used by the Compliance Unit, in the authorization of refunds, and for identifying cases for pre refund review or audit. Other enquiry exercises are also performed. One such enquiry to identify refunds paid under the threshold set for VAT unearthed several legitimately registered companies with a number of inconsistencies. The information suggested that there was no real trading on going in those companies who on the face of it were in a loss position. Data mining capabilities allowed the inconsistencies identified to be brought to the surface in order to facilitate further analysis. The matter was referred to the Criminal Tax Investigations Unit. The Criminal Tax Investigations research revealed approximately one hundred (100) legitimately registered companies with no real operations to generate income or expenditure. This apparent refund scheme was done to cheat the public revenue and by extension the Government; this fraud when quantified amounted to $20,000, dollars between the years 2008 to The Directors of the Companies and the main persons involved have since been charged with failing to produce book and records, failing to comply with a requirement of the Act, submitting false or misleading information to the Board of Inland Revenue. Ancillary charges will follow under the Proceeds of Crime Act in respect of money laundering. 13

15 T&T Inland Revenue Division - PROPOSED INITIATIVES The Board has further proposed a number of initiatives to address the rapid changes in the dynamic environment within which they continue to exist. PROPOSED INITIATIVES 2012 & BEYOND PROJECT OBJECTIVES Establishment of A Risk Management function To facilitate the identification, analysis, evaluation and treatment of all types of risk that is a threat to the achievement of IRD s mission. Establishment of a Process Management Function Provision of e-services Establishment of an Inspection (Internal Affairs) Unit Establishment of a Communication Unit To establish a system to manage processes and procedures within the Division To implement an electronic system to facilitate the electronic filing of tax returns, electronic payments, on-line taxpayer registration and the provision of information. To strengthen the Division s investigative capacity To improve the communication between the Inland Revenue Division and its internal and external stakeholders Establishment of a Performance Management System for all operations of the Division The development and implementation of a data base for the storage and processing of Lands and Buildings data Improve the records management system for tax returns Establishment of the system review function Establishment of an operational policy function To measure the achievements of the operations of the Division against established performance standards. To computerise the Lands and Buildings Taxes To implement a records management system for tax returns for all tax types with improved security features, retrieval and filing facilities To determine whether the processes and the products of the Integrated Tax Processing System satisfy the requirements of the Division and to verify the accuracy of the rules and configuration of the system To implement, disseminate and manage a database of tax and non-tax related policies within the Inland Revenue Division 14

16 FACES OF COTA Mr. Ralph Warner Comptroller Inland Revenue (Ag) Antigua and Barbuda Mr. Kent Clare Commissioner of Income Tax Belize Mr. Kurshid Sattaur CommissionerCommissioner-General Guyana Revenue Authority Mr. Talmon Brice Assistant Director of Revenue The Bahamas Mr. Irving Williams Comptroller, Inland Revenue Dominica Mr. JeanJean-Baptiste Clarck Neptune General Manager Haiti Tax Administration Mrs. Sabina WalcottWalcott-Denny Commissioner, Inland Revenue Barbados Ms Pauline Peters Comptroller (Ag.) Inland Revenue, Grenada CommissionerCommissioner-General Tax Administration Jamaica 15

17 Ms. Violette Silcott Comptroller, Comptroller, Inland Revenue Montserrat Mr. Kelvin Pompey Comptroller, Inland Revenue St. Vincent & the Grenadines Mr. James Charles Comptroller, Inland Revenue Saint Lucia Mr. Cornelis Antonie Van Dijk Director of Taxes Directorate of Taxes, Suriname Ms. Gecheal Richardson Comptroller, Inland Revenue Revenue Anguilla Commissioner Office of the Tax Commissioner Bermuda Mr. Kenneth Jefferson Financial Secretary Cayman Islands Mr. Henry Saunders Revenue Controller Turks and Caicos Islands Mr. Edward Gift Comptroller,, Inland Revenue Comptroller St. Kitts Ms. Deokie Hosein Chairman, hairman, Board of Inland Revenue Revenue Trinidad and Tobago Ms. Sylvia Moses Commissioner, Inland Revenue British Virgin Islands Ms. Evelyn Wayne Programme Manager Macro Economic and Trade Policy Coordination & Executive Secretary of COTA 16

18 Culture Crosspoint Here are just a few sayings that are used locally in Trinidad. These will come in handy for anyone visiting T&T...hehe. This way you don't have to be totally confused as to what we Trinis are saying. And if you think Trinis and Tobagonians speak the same type of creole, check out the Tobago Sayings.. Trini Sayings Never see come see - Someone who is unaccustomed to certain things. I dey - I'm fine Same khaki pants - Things never change He/she doh eat nice - To say a person is arrogant or formidable To take basket - To be manipulated into doing something Basket doh hold water - All threats are idle He/She does touch - To say someone is a thief I Payap! - An exclamation of wonder or disbelief Yuh fadder is ah glassmaker? - To tell someone they are blocking your view Loll off - To relax when there is work to be done Skin teet - To grin Jus' come - A person who is naïve Santimanitay - To have no mercy Take chain up - To be manipulated into doing something You can't play sailor and 'fraid powder - You must face the consequences of your actions. To get horrors - To become upset over something Band your belly - To prepare for hard times Playing dead to catch Corbeau alive - To act stealthily to achieve something Fire de wuk - To quit a job Moon does run until daylight catch up with him - People who do wrong will eventually meet justice Stone fall in your garden - To be guilty about something He/she ain't right here - To say a person is crazy All skin teeth eh laugh - Do not be deceived by friendly appearances Behind back is 'Dog', before face is Mr Dog - People will say bad things when your back is turned Monkey say cool breeze - To act unaffected by something Tobago Sayings Ah nuh fuh want ah tongue, mek cow cyar talk Some things might be just beyond your power Belly full man does tell hungry gut man keep heart Well to do people offer words of consolation only to the needy, but never any tangible assistance. Do not let the candle cost more than the funeral In an effort to solve one problem be wary of creating further problems. Even though I am a hungry cock, ah doh eat rotten corn One should maintain his dignity and integrity irrespective of his wants. Every mouldy bread geh ih mouldy cheese Everyone has his friend. Give am rope leh ih hang ihself Usually too much freedom is used to one s disadvantage. Hen wid chicken cyar cross river People with certain inabilities are not free to act. Howdy, thanks, break no bone Engaging in lengthy conversations is what usually brings about enmity. House full, kitche full but not even a thimble full The loneliness that prevails after one s kids has all left. If you rub mih back, mih go rub you belly Those who give will receive Monkey know wha tree fuh climb One usually assess a person before taking chances with him/her. Mih hear better cock than that crow and nex morning ih end up in a pot The element of uncertainity is never entirely erased. Mouth open, tory jump out Closely guarded secrets are usually disclosed when friends have disagreements. Poke ah poke, no beef The situation is unchanged. Ratta tongue does sell ih head Disclosing too much can get one into trouble. Sheep cyar bring goat Children are usually no different from their parents. 17

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