STUDENTS and businessmen from TT who are in some parts of Europe are suffering due to Parliament’s failure to approve a treaty to report the tax details of suspicious individuals, Finance Minister Colm Imbert told the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
He said the European Union listed TT as a non-compliant tax jurisdiction under the Global Forum.
“Individual European countries such as France, Netherlands and Luxembourg have begun to exercise their option to apply defensive measures against TT.”
These curbs include the suspension of wire transfers with correspondent banks, Imbert said.
“Students who are studying in these countries have been prevented from opening bank accounts in European banks, and have been subjected to enhanced due diligence. Nationals engaged in business transactions with European persons have encountered impediments to the transmission of funds.
“The impact of the delay in implementing these legislative changes has now gone from hypothetical – as we warned in November – to real as we speak now.
“Ordinary citizens of TT are now being impacted. If we do not pass these bills today, these defensive measures will increase in severity.”
Saying the Government has tried to pass this legislation for years, Imbert again lamented the current fallout, adding, “It will get worse.”
He said after all the consultations and deliberations on the matter, he hoped the Opposition would support the motion, so TT could avoid even worse measures being imposed by European countries.
Imbert was moving a motion for MPs to adopt a joint select committee report on three tax bills: Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters Bill 2018; Tax Information Exchange Agreements Bill 2018; and Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2019.