Trinidad and Tobago yesterday introduced eight fiscal measures which were first announced in the country’s budget presentation last year.
The measures were introduced by Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, under his “Stability, Strength and Growth” themed budget statement last October.
Among the measures listed is a one hundred per cent tax exemption on solar water heating equipment costing up to $10,000, according to a notice published on the Ministry of Finance’s website. That tax credit was increased from 25 per cent and will benefit approximately 12,000 households, Colm said.
A 150 per cent allowance on promotional expenses for first-time CARICOM exporters was also introduced. The change was made for the purpose of creating promoting the expansion of foreign markets for the export of certain goods and services but does not apply to countries within the CARICOM region.
What’s more, a $6 million tax allowance for corporate sponsorship of nationals in the local creative fashion and sporting industries. This implementation of the new tax allowance represents a doubling of the previous figure and will impact “audio, visual or video productions for the purpose of local education or local entertainment; and local production companies in respect of their own productions as well as for companies which sponsor sporting activities or events or sportsmen and art and culture”.
The energy investment tax credit increased to 25 per cent, up from 20 per cent and will be used to stimulate further exploration and development-related investments in the energy sector, Colm said then.
Additionally, the loss relief rate reduced to 75 per cent of taxable profit of energy exploration companies.
A 20 per cent capital allowance for energy exploration companies in their first five years was also instituted. This change was made to create “significant additional revenue for the Government” and was previously 50 per cent in the first year, 30 per cent the following year and 20 per cent in the third year.
The personal allowance for travellers was increased to $5,000 and means the value of personal goods that can be imported without incurring customs duties increased by $2,000.
Lastly, the transferable shares to a nominated beneficiary upon the death of a member moved to $50,000 from the previous limit of $5,000.
The Government also introduced a ban on Styrofoam products in the food and beverage industry at the start of the year.