Tuesday 14 July, 2020

Ministry: Pensioners can apply for property tax deferrals

(Photo: Cristian Newman/Unsplash)

(Photo: Cristian Newman/Unsplash)

The Finance Ministry refuted media reports that all pensioners will have to pay property tax, saying that some pensioners may be able to apply for deferrals depending on their circumstances. 

In a statement issued Tuesday, Minister in the Finance Ministry, Allyson West, said it was correcting a 'misconception' created by a report in the Sunday Express Newspaper of Sunday, April 22, 2018, headlined: “Pensioners must pay property tax too”.

The Ministry said that relief is provided under the Property Tax Act 2009 to persons who can satisfy the Board of Inland Revenue that they are unable to afford the tax by reason of age, impaired health or other special circumstances.

The Ministry said this deferral can be rolled over indefinitely once the circumstances of the landowner remain unchanged.

The Ministry said Parliament is currently debating amendments to the Property Tax Act and Valuation of Lands Act, 2009 prior to the introduction of the Tax that has been in abeyance since 2010.

"Since 1920, property owners in Trinidad and Tobago have been required to pay tax on property. In 2009, the existing legislation was repealed and replaced by the Property Tax Act to reduce the rate of tax that previously applied under the Land and Building Taxes Act, from 7.5% on buildings and plant and machinery, to a tiered rate system based on the use to which the property was put as follows:

On agricultural property 1%

On residential property 3%

On commercial property 5%

On industrial property 3 & 6%

This rate reduction was introduced to ease the burden that would otherwise have resulted from the long-delayed revaluation of properties to reflect current rental values," the Ministry said.

The Ministry reminded that property tax is applied on all property, except for those listed as exempt under the Act, including those owned and occupied by approved charitable institutions, schools, public hospitals, the State and certain State enterprises.


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