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Sunday 20 October 2019
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Take advantage of tax amnesty

AG: Unexplained Wealth Law in force

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi

ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi has urged people to take advantage of a three-month tax amnesty which begins on Monday as the provisions of the Unexplained Wealth legislation were proclaimed yesterday.

He was contributing to debate yesterday on The Miscellaneous Provisions (Tax Amnesty, Pensions, Freedom of Information, National Insurance, Central Bank and Non Profit Organisations) Bill 2019.

He said Government planned to bring legislation on the TT Revenue Authority and people ought not to be “shocked into compliance” but brought into a sober state.

“The tax amnesty to allow people to come up to mark is a useful measure that I think all citizens will welcome.”

He also said The Civil Asset Unexplained Wealth legislation came to Parliament and yesterday the Unexplained Wealth sections were proclaimed. He said now that the Board of Inland Revenue has the authority to ask people to explain their wealth they should be given a chance to “clean up their taxes.”

Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the amnesty covered all taxes with penalties and interest for late payments. He said a number of people owed land and buildings taxes since 2009 and many people only became aware of this when they attempt to sell the property. He said there would be substantial penalties and interest on the taxes and the amnesty would allow a cleaning up of outstanding land and building taxes.

He said the bill was likely to be assented to yesterday but the amnesty would take effect from Monday and would be retroactive.

Imbert recalled the last tax amnesty in 2016 which was for two and a half months targeted $500 million but collected $750 million. He said he saw no reason why this amnesty, which lasts for a longer period, would not collect more than $500 million.

He reported that Government intended to debate the TT Revenue Authority bill before Parliament goes on recess and the amnesty was an opportunity to “clean up the system and pay taxes before the introduction of the Revenue Authority.”

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