Trinidad and Tobago
The tax year is the calendar year. Companies are assessed by reference to their accounting period, which for tax purposes cannot exceed 12 months other than in the year of cessation of the business.
The taxpayer is required to file a tax return with the BIR by 30 April following the end of the fiscal period. An automatic six-month grace period is allowed, following which a penalty is imposed of TTD 1,000 for every six months or part thereof that the return remains unfiled.
Payment of tax
Corporation tax, business levy, and green fund levy are payable quarterly in advance on 31 March, 30 June, 30 September, and 31 December. Any balance of tax due is payable on or before 30 April of the following year. Instalments of corporation tax are based on an estimate of the current year’s liability or on the actual chargeable profits for the previous year, whichever is greater. If the current year’s estimate is lower, the company may apply to the BIR to reduce its quarterly instalment. The levy liabilities are based on the actual receipts for the quarter.
Tax audit process
Tax audits are conducted by the BIR. There is no specific timeframe to conduct an audit, but, generally, companies are selected for varying reasons, including where large refunds are claimed. The BIR usually notifies the company of the intended audit and requests that the books and records be made available for inspection. An assessment is generally raised after the audit.
Statute of limitations
A company carrying on business in Trinidad and Tobago is required to keep proper accounts and records and is required to retain these accounts for a period of at least six years after the completion of the transactions, acts, or operations to which they relate or three years after the filing of its return (whichever is later).
Topics of focus for tax authorities
The following issues are currently the focus of the tax authorities:
- Transfer pricing.
- CARICOM tax planning structures.
- Management and other fees paid to non-resident persons.