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Trinidad And Tobago Passes FATCA Bill

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
09 March, 2017

Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Finance has confirmed that a bill to facilitate domestic financial institutions' compliance with the US Foreign Account Taxpayer Compliance Act ("FATCA") has been passed by the territory's parliament.

FATCA, enacted by the US Congress in 2010, is intended to ensure that the US obtains information on accounts held abroad at foreign financial institutions (FFIs) by US persons. Failure by an FFI to disclose information on their US clients will result in a requirement to withhold 30 percent tax on payments of US-sourced income.

The territory's Senate voted unanimously (29 to zero) in favor of the Tax Information Exchange Agreements Bill 2016, also known as the FATCA (Foreign Account Taxpayer Compliance) Bill, with one abstention.

This follows the passage of the Bill through the House of Representatives on February 23, 2017, where all 39 MPs present on that day voted in favor of the Bill.

The Ministry of Finance said that, with the passage of this Bill, the country has avoided the adverse consequences of a potential loss of banking business and the imposition of withholding taxes.

The Ministry of Finance said it will now work with the Board of Inland Revenue, the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, and all other stakeholders to ensure that all necessary systems are in place to meet the reporting deadline to the US Treasury of September 30, 2017.

The Ministry also said a post-enactment communications plan has been developed, to ensure the general public is made aware of the requirements of FATCA and its implications for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

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