Monday 17 June, 2019

BATT calls for swift passage of Income Tax Amendment Bill

The Bankers Association of Trinidad & Tobago (BATT) is calling for the Opposition’s full cooperation on the passing of the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill.

The Bill will ensure Trinidad and Tobago’s compliance with the International Standard on Exchange of Information on request, commonly referred to as the EOIR standard.

In a statement, BATT said it was pleased by Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s presentation on November 2.

According to BATT, the proposed amendments would facilitate the exchange of information for tax purposes and effectively combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

“The amendments, designed to improve compliance, will advance Trinidad and Tobago’s international ratings and will enable banks to efficiently maintain cross-border correspondent banking relationships.

This is in line with BATT’s efforts to ensure a stronger and more stable financial sector macroeconomic framework that sustains economic growth.

BATT says it notes the concerns expressed by some members of the Opposition, but sought to assure the public that adequate mechanisms are in place both internationally and locally, to prevent any abuse of the information shared with any jurisdiction.

“As with the passage of the FATCA legislation, only information relative to citizens of foreign jurisdiction will be eligible for sharing with those jurisdictions.”

The Bankers Association says failure to pass this legislation could disrupt the smooth flow of correspondent banking relationships between domestic banks and international correspondents. 

“Cognizant of the vital role that correspondent banking plays in the functioning of the local financial services industry and the wider economy, BATT urges cooperation in the passage of the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, so as to ensure compliance with international financial integrity standards.”

 

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