Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 28th 2013 Contents ALEEM KHAN
T&T will sign an inter-governmental
agreement (IGA) with the United States
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on December
31, the Central Bank has said.
In its most recent Financial Stability Report
released October 16, covering up to June, the
Central Bank said that this will happen as
T&T and other Caribbean countries move to
comply with the US Foreign Account Tax
Compliance Act (FATCA).
FATCA, a US tax law which came into effect
in January, was designed and enacted to com-
bat offshore tax evasion by "US persons" with
accounts and/or investments with both foreign
financial and non-financial entities.
FATCA places a requirement on foreign
financial institutions (FFIs) to identify and
report information on certain "US persons"
invested in accounts outside of the US and
for certain non-US entities to provide infor-
mation about any US owners to the IRS.
A "US person" under FATCA refers to a
citizen or resident of the United States of
America, a US partnership or corporation.
FFIs include, but are not limited to, commercial
banks, non-bank financial institutions, asset
managers, investment products and insurance
companies where products have an investment
element, the Central Bank explained.
"It is expected that FATCA may impact
both financial and non-financial companies
in Trinidad and Tobago that receive income
from a US source, either directly in the conduct
of their business, or indirectly through rela-
tionships with other financial institutions.
Non-compliance carries significant implica-
tions for local financial institutions," the
Central Bank said.
To comply with the FATCA requirements,
T&T must resolve some issues.
First, "conflicts with local laws which pro-
hibit the disclosure of confidential informa-
tion." The bank explained that "currently,
local disclosure laws prevent local institutions
from sharing confidential client information.
Consequently pertinent legislation would have
to be amended or enacted to ensure compli-
ance with FATCA requirements."
Second, there are "implications for insti-
tutions with cross-border activities" regarding
the choice of model IGA adopted. Two of the
largest indigenous banks in T&T, First Citizens
and Republic Bank Ltd own banks outside of
"If an FFI maintains branches outside of
one jurisdiction, then such branches would
not be covered by the IGA signed in the
head office jurisdiction. Consequently, FFIs
must be cognisant of the IGA adopted in
each jurisdiction where they have operations,
in order to ensure compliance," the report
Third, "technology limitations" means
that "compliance with FATCA requires the
installation of new and extended information
systems to enable local institutions to fulfill
the reporting requirements."
The regulator of banks in T&T said it is
adopting a "regional approach to the FATCA
regulations." T&T is a member of a Regional
Task Force created by the Caribbean Com-
munity s Council of Finance and Planning
under the auspices of the Caribbean Asso-
ciation of Banks.
"The task force is working towards a
regional approach with regard to FATCA
compliance in areas which allow for a
regional approach. With regard to specific
country-to-country negotiations with the
US, some islands including Trinidad and
Tobago have begun the process of negoti-
ating IGAs with the IRS," the report said.
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"Can I tell you something else? I saw the money."
The Opposition Leader said the system of pro-
portional representation used to elect aldermen
for local government corporations was "a tool to
undermine the work of the corporations."
He said there were plans to bring legislation to
Parliament for proportional representation to be
implemented for the 2015 general election and
advised Persad-Bissessar not to waste her time as
the Opposition will not support it. That bill will
require a special majority, which the Government
does not have in Parliament.
Rowley said the Tobago House of Assembly is
being denied its resources by the Government. He
advised Tobagonians not to bow to the pressure
from the PP government.
"If you have to eat salt and green bananas, do
not bow to the UNC and its partners," he urged.
He described the PP as a collapsed coalition
which was on its way out and said T&T was in
danger as long as the PP remains in office.
Rowley repeated his call for the Government to
hold general elections immediately as it had lost
its mandate after the Section 34 fiasco last year.
The PNM leader predicted that in the coming
months, the PP "Government is going to go into
a raping frenzy" and will set out to empty the
Treasury, awarding contracts "right, left and cen-
He said the Government will award questionable
contracts, appoint unqualified people to certain
jobs and give away state lands.
Rowley issued a challenge to Pentecostal minister
Pastor Winston Cuffie, who claimed in a newspaper
report that the PNM did not win last week s local
government elections. He told Cuffie he was pre-
pared to "come to the pulpit and make you account
for government money."
Commenting on the deadlock in the Chaguanas
Borough Corporation, Rowley said if the Chaguanas
Borough Corporation is put under the control of
PNM, it would be in good hands, but in any other
party s hands it will be a lottery.
Rowley also criticised Works and Infrastructure
Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan for claiming
PP and ILP votes were more than the votes of the
"The ILP is not a part of the Government, it is
a part of the opposition. It is not a part of any
partnership, it is a part of the opposition," he said.
Monday, October 28, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 25th OCTOBER, 2013
As US moves against offshore tax evasion...
T&T to sign pact with IRS
Model Arita Edmund portrays Lutino Rosy Faced Lovebird at K2K's 2014 Carnival Couture Collection, VIE: The Rise of the Sanctuary.
PHOTO: DAVID WEARS
BIRD IN FLIGHT
Rowley repeats call
for general election
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