Budget 2021: Tax breaks removed on private vehicle imports
Finance Minister Colm Imbert said tax concessions will be removed from the the importation of private vehicles starting at the end of this month.
Speaking in Parliament during the 2020-21 budget presentation, he said there are simply too many cars on the road:
'At close to one million vehicles, there are simply too many cars on the road in Trinidad and Tobago today. As a country we spend $2.5 billion per year or US$400 million per year importing an average of 25,000 vehicles per year, at least two thirds of which leads to private motor cars.’
‘This has created a serious leakage of foreign exchange. We propose to remove all tax concessions on the importation of private motor cars. All private motor cars will now attract customs duty, motor vehicle tax and Value Added tax (VAT), with the lowest rates of duty and tax being imposed on hybrid cars, electric cars, CNG cars and small engine cars below 1500CCs to encourage low use.’
Imbert said tax concessions would remain in place for commercial and industrial vehicles and on public transport vehicles.
He said the measures would take effect from October 20, 2020.
Additionally, he said in January 2021 the age of foreign used imported cars would be reduced to three years and quotas for the importation of used cars would be reduced by 30 percent.
Japanese cars are subject to an expensive inspection process three years after purchase, with increasing costs as cars age, leading to the vehicles being exported to other countries.
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