TAX PRACTICE GROUP Multi-Jurisdictional Survey TAX DESK BOOK

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1 TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO Introduction TAX PRACTICE GROUP Multi-Jurisdictional Survey TAX DESK BOOK CONTACT INFORMATION Myrna Robinson-Walters M. Hamel-Smith &Co Eleven Albion, Dere and Albion Streets, Port-of-Spain,Trinidad Trinidad and Tobago (868) Please give a brief overview of the types of taxes imposed in your jurisdiction (i.e., direct and indirect taxes and their components.) The principle direct taxes are:- Corporation Tax: A tax on the profits and short term gains of companies accruing in Trinidad & Tobago and includes a business levy. Income Tax: A tax on income accruing in Trinidad & Tobago including withholding taxes on distributions of companies and payments to nonresidents. Unemployment Levy: A tax on the profits of companies subject to thepetroleum Taxes Act. Business Levy: A tax on gross revenue at rate of.2% payable quarterly.final liability is off set by corporation tax payable at year end. Green Fund Levy: A tax on gross revenue at the rate of.1% payable quarterly. Health Surcharge: A tax levied at two rates based on income. Petroleum Profits Tax: A tax on the profits earned by businesses in thecourse of petroleum operations falling under the Petroleum Taxes Act.

2 Supplemental Petroleum Tax: A tax charged on the gross income of companies liable to petroleum profits tax based on the price of oil. Lands and Buildings Taxes: A tax based on the assessed values of lands and buildings. Withholding Taxes: A tax based on various income payments to nonresidents. The principal indirect taxes are: Value Added Tax: A tax levied on imports and on the value of commercial supplies of goods and services. Customs and Excise Duties: Taxes on imports and manufactured goods. Import Surcharge: A tax on imports. Stamp Duty: A tax on instruments generally based on the value of the consideration. Financial Services Tax: A tax on financial transactions with banks, etc. Motor Vehicles Tax: A tax levied on sale of motor vehicles. INCOME TAXES AS APPLIED TO BUSINESS ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUALS Calculation of Income/ Profit Taxes 2. How is the taxable base determined? For business entities and sole traders: Gross income less deductible expenses wholly and exclusively incurred in the production of the income;subject to any exemptions provided in the legislation. For employees: all emoluments arising from the employment including benefits in kind such as housing and provision of a motor vehicle are taxable. The only expense allowed as a deduction is travelling wholly exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of the employment. 3. What revenues are included? The following revenues are included: Income from sources derived in or accruing in Trinidad &Tobago or elsewhere and whether received in Trinidad & Tobago or not in respect of gains and profits from: farming, fishing,operation of mines or other natural resources, trade or business,professions, vocations or management charges, royalties, rents, interest, discounts, annual payments, fees, commissions, distributions, short term capital gains. The business levy is payable quarterly at the rate of.2% of the gross income of the company. Payments of corporation tax are set off against the business

3 levy liability of the corporation in the following year when returns are filed. The individual taxpayer is entitled to a tax credit against his business levy liability for a year of income of any payment made in respect of his income tax liability for that year up to a maximum of his business levy liability.no liability accrues in respect of gross sales giving rise to exempt income or gross sales not exceeding $200, per annum. Green Fund Levy applies even if the business is exempt from business levy and is chargeable at the rate of.1% of the gross income of the company. Supplemental Petroleum Tax is levied at scales based on the price of oil. Residents are taxed on income derived from abroad whether remitted to Trinidad and Tobago or not. 4. What deductions are allowed? All expenses wholly and exclusively incurred in the production of the income are allowed except where specifically disallowed. 5. What are the major expenses that are not deductible? Major expenses not allowed are domestic and private expenses, capital expenses and certain payments to non-residents unless withholding taxes have been accounted for and paid over to the Board of Inland Revenue. With respect to management charges paid to non-residents the deduction is limited to 2% of the outgoings and expenses(excluisve of the management charges) allowed under the legislation OR the actual deductible expenses whichever is the LESSER 6. What are the applicable federal rates? Not applicable 7. What are the applicable state and/ or other local rates? Current corporation tax rate is 25%.

4 Companies engaged in liquefaction of natural gas, manufacture of petrochemicals and transmission and distribution of natural gas and wholesale marketing and distribution of petroleum products - rate is 30%. Petroleum profits tax is levied at 50%. The rate with respect to individuals is also 25%. 8. What are the applicable capital gains rates and base, if different and concessional tax treatment in case of business re-organization such as amalgamation, slump sale, demerger, etc? There is no capital gains tax. Gains arising from the disposal of property within 12 months of acquisition are taxable as income. Shares and other securities are excluded from this provision. 9. How are operating losses handled? Operating losses which cannot be set off against profits from other sources for the same year can be carried forward and set off against what would otherwise have been chargeable profits for the succeeding years. Operating losses from trade or business cannot be set off against losses from profession or vocation or employment income; and losses from profession or vocation cannot be set off against employment income. Unrelieved losses of one company may not be transferred to and carried forward by another company in the case of a corporate reorganisation. There are rules preventing a company from carrying forward its own losses after ownership of the majority of its shares changes hands, unless approved by the Board of Inland Revenue as not being for the purpose of avoiding tax 10. How are capital losses handled? The only capital losses relieved are those arising from acquisition and disposal of an asset within 12 months. Such losses can only be set off against future income from a similar capital gain.

5 Territorial Rules 11. What are the residence rules? An individual is resident if he is present in Trinidad and Tobago for a period of 183 days or more in the tax year which runs form January to December. The corporation/company is resident where its central management and control takes place. Control is exercised where the Board of Directors meet and make decisions, unless the Board is itself controlled by a third party. 12. Is worldwide income taxed? Yes, in respect of residents and resident companies. 13. Tax credits - Are there tax credits relating to legal dispositions other than provisions in Double Taxation Treaties, on the possibility of deducting taxes paid abroad, or any others? Unilateral relief can be given by way of tax credit where a resident individual or company has suffered double taxation in respect of the any income and there is no applicable tax treaty. Withholding Taxes 14. What are the rates on dividends for withholding taxes? 10% to an individual or company but where payment is made to a parent the rate is 5%. Parent is not defined but a body corporate shall be deemed to be a subsidiary of any other body corporate if and so long as not less than half its share capital of all classes of stock, or half of the total combined voting power in respect of all classes of that stock is owned by that other body corporate, whether directly or through any other body corporate, or other bodies corporate, or partly through any other body corporate or other bodies corporate. 15. What are the rates on royalties for withholding taxes? 15% 16. What are the rates on interest for withholding taxes?

6 15% 17. What are the rates of withholding tax on profits realized by a foreign corporation? 10% on remittances of profits from a branch to a head office."profits" means profits after the payment of income tax, corporation tax and petroleum profits tax. An office or a branch or agency of a non-resident company shall be deemed to have remitted all the profits thereof, except to the extent that the office or the branch or agency has reinvested to the satisfaction of the Board such profits or any part thereof in Trinidad and Tobago, other than in the replacement of fixed assets. 18. Please list any other rates on withholding taxes that we should be aware of. 15% on remittances of rentals, management charges, premiums (except to insurance companies and contributions to pension funds and schemes),commissions, fees, licences,annuities and other annual payments Tax Returns and Compliance 19. What is the taxable reporting period? 12 months ending with the date of the financial year end in respect of companies or the date of commencement of business to the year end. In respect of individuals the 12 month period January to December. 20. What are the due dates for the filing of tax returns? April 30th in each year 21. What are the key compliance requirements? Filing the return and paying of outrstanding taxes Paying quarterly instalments in respect of companies and self -employed persons. This is based on the profits of the previous year and adjusted in December to make the final payment. Deduction of tax monthly from salaries of employees by the employer and remitting same to the Board of Inland Revenue by the 15th day of the following month.

7 22. Are there any other requirements that we should be aware of regarding tax returns and compliance? The employee who wishes to have his tax reduced based on statutory claims must obtain from the Board of Inland Revnue a stamped form TD1 which he gives to the employer to authorise the deduction. INDIRECT TAXES 23. Are there any indirect taxes in your jurisdiction? The principal indirect taxes are: Value Added Tax: A tax levied on imports and on the value of commercial o supplies of goods and services. Customs and Excise Duties: A tax on imports and manufactured goods. Import Surcharge: A tax on imports. Stamp Duty: A tax on instruments. Financial Services Tax: A tax on financial transactions with banks, etc. Motor Vehicles Tax: A tax levied on sale of motor vehicles. 24. How does it operate? Is it a VAT or a sales tax? Vat is levied on the value of the commercial supply made or the value of the consideration and on imports. Customs Duties are based on the cif value of the imported goods. Excise duties are based on the value of the goods manufactured. Import Surcharge is an additional tax at a fixed percentage levied and depending on the type of goods. Stamp Duty is levied on the value of the consideration stated in the instrument or the value imposed by the Revenue where market value exceeds the value stated. Financial Services Tax is levied at a fixed percentage on the value of the transaction. otor Vehicles Tax is levied on the market value of the vehicle. 25. How is the taxable base determined? see section 24 above. 26. What are the applicable rates?

8 Vat and Financial Services Tax are levied at 15% Customs Duties vary from nil to about 30% Stamp Duty rates vary from TT$25.00 to TT$4.00 per $1, on mortgages and charges.rates depend on the nature of the transaction recorded in the instrument and the value of the consideration. Residential transfers have a graduated range from exempt to 7.5%. 27. Are there any exemptions? There are some exemptions; for example, from Vat and from stamp duty on residential transfers 28. Are there any other taxes such as debit or financial transactions taxes enforced in you jurisdiction? See 23 and 24above PARAFISCAL CONTRIBUTIONS 29. Are there any parafiscal contributions (i.e. social security, science and/ or technology)? Social Security or National Insurance Contributions are compulsory for all employees.the employer must contribute twice the employee's weekly contributions. 30. How do they operate? There are 16 Classes of wage earners and contributions vary according to the Class. 31. How is the taxable base determined? The specific contribution amounts are set out in the legislation 32. What are the applicable rates? No applicable rates. 33. Are there any exemptions?

9 Persons under the age of 16 and persons aged 65 and over do not contribute. INHERITANCE AND GIFT TAXES 34. Are there inheritance taxes, gift taxes or any other taxes like Wealth Tax, etc.? No 35. If you answered yes to the question above, please describe what triggers the requirement for the tax, what the rate of tax is, and what is included in the taxable base. N/A OTHER MATTERS 36. Are there any tax incentives granted for various matters such as research and development, investment in certain industries/ areas, etc.? Yes 37. If so, please indicate if there are any of the following: anti-deferral regimes; transfer pricing provisions; tax avoidance measures like legislated General Anti- Avoidance Rules, etc.; controlled foreign companies regulations; thin capitalization rules Tax avoidance measures are set out in the Income Tax Act and are wide enough to cover transfer pricing: Section 67. (1) Where the Board is of opinion that any transaction which reduces or would reduce the amount of tax payable by any person is artificial or fictitious, or that full effect has not, in fact, been given to any disposition or settlement, within the meaning of section 72 the Board may disregard any such transaction or disposition or settlement, within the meaning of section 72, and the persons concerned shall be assessable accordingly. 38. List the countries in which there are tax treaties. This could impact the withholding taxes on various distributions and to the extent possible, please itemize them below. Please include the impact upon withholding on compensation, interest, dividends or other distributions for each country listed.

10 Country Dividends Dividends where Royalties Interest Management voting control China 10% 5% (25%+shareholding) 10 % 10% 20% Denmark 20% 10% (25%+shareholding) 15% 15% 5% Norway 20% 10% (25%+shareholding) 15% 15% 5% Italy 20% 10% (25%+shareholding) 5% 10% 5% Switzerland 20% 10% (10% + shareholding) 10% 10% 5% Germany 20% 10%(25% + share holding) 10% 15% 20% Sweden 20% 10%(25% + shareholding) 20% 15% 12.5% Luxembourg 10% 5% (10%+ shareholding) 10% 7.5% 10% USA 15% 10%(10% + shareholding) 15% 20% 20% Canada 15% 5% (10%+ shareholding) 10% 10% 10% United Kingdom 20% 10%(25%+ shareholding) 10% 10% 20% Caribbean Community (Caricom) 0% 0% 15% 15% 15% India 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% Venezuela 10% 5%(25%+ shareholding) 10% 15% 10% Rentals of Real Property In all treaties this is 20% except for the following:-to companies in the USA 10%. Branch Profits 10% in the treaties generally except for the following : to China,Canada, Luxembourg and Venezuela 5%; to Italy 8%; to Caricom 0%

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