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Government Considers VAT Exemption for Energy Sector to Reduce Refund Bill

  • The Trinidad and Tobago government owes around $7 billion in VAT refunds, with $6 billion owed to the energy sector and the remaining amount owed to non-energy sectors.
  • Finance Minister Colm Imbert is considering exempting the energy sector from VAT in order to reduce the refund bill.
  • Imbert also mentioned the possibility of implementing a sales tax to solve the refund issue, but acknowledged that this would come with its own challenges.
  • The government plans to prioritize payment to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) next.
  • Imbert emphasized the importance of focusing on the manufacturing sector, which creates resources and exports.
  • He mentioned the need for an outreach program to make businesses aware of compliance processes.
  • Imbert expressed his preference for a sales tax over VAT, as it would eliminate the need for refunds.
  • The government recently increased the minimum wage by $3 per hour.
  • The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) expressed satisfaction with the government’s focus on the non-energy sector but emphasized the importance of timely implementation of policies and incentives.


Note that this post was (partially) written with the help of AI. It is always useful to review the original source material, and where needed to obtain (local) advice from a specialist.


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