AG Faris Al Rawi is warning that T&T will continue to be blacklisted by the European Union if the income tax law is not amended, and is urging the Opposition to state their position on the matter.
He says in 2011 under the People’s Partnership Government, T&T joined the global forum grouping and was told as a country that it had international obligations for automatic exchange for taxpayer information and double taxation relief.
The AG says in October 2014, the then Finance Minister Larry Howai travelled to the Global Forum in Berlin, and committed T&T to commence the exchange of taxpayer information in the year 2017.
To exchange that information, T&T would have had to negotiate 13 exchange of information agreements, but the AG claims that none were done when the PNM came into office in 2015.
Due to this, he says the Finance Minister asked the global forum to engage in a fast track process, which is to sign onto a multi-lateral convention.
He says the UNC was given to option to sign onto the multi-lateral convention in 2014, but the UNC opted to do the 13 individual arrangements.
For the fast track process to be done, the income tax law needs to be amended, but Mr Al Rawi says the UNC has had the bill for 6 months, without any progress being made.
Mr Al Rawi says this will affect everyone in T&T if this legislation collapses.
Attorney General, Faris Al Rawi