FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions?

A: The Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority (the TTRA) is a semi-autonomous authority that aims at building and transforming the national economy through strengthened management and collection of taxes and customs duties, as well as enhanced trade facilitation and border control.

A: In 1993, the Government of the day came to the conclusion that the management of revenue collection in Trinidad and Tobago was not optimal. 

This was based on evidence of inefficiencies in processes; the increases in transaction costs to business and their impact on productivity and competitiveness; and general complaints of dissatisfaction from taxpayers.

However, it was in 2002 when movement was made in earnest to consider the possibilities of having a revenue authority. Government appointed a committee comprising representatives of the private sector and government to examine the institutional framework of revenue collection in Trinidad and Tobago. The Committee submitted its findings, concluding that the revenue authority model provided an excellent framework to tackle these deficiencies.

The Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority’s Strategic and Operational Plan has received the requisite approval from the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Colm Imbert, and was laid in Parliament on February 24, 2023.

A: The TTRA model is a semi-autonomous revenue authority – that is, it is responsible for its own budget. It is governed by a Board, which comprises representatives from Government, civil society, professionals, and the private sector. The Board is required to report to the Minister on the TTRA’s activities. The Board of Management of the TTRA would be required to publish annual performance reports.

A: T&T individuals; local businesses – micro, small to medium, large; multinational organisations; and expats.

A: The TTRA is holding a steady course as it completes the operationalisation process. Every effort is being made for the TTRA to open its doors by May 31, 2024. Any changes to this operational date will be communicated in a timely manner.

A: It was recognized that the administration of tax revenue collection in Trinidad and Tobago could be improved. As one revenue collecting agency, there will be several benefits and synergies, including cost efficiencies, data sharing and improved risk mitigation frameworks.

Bringing the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise Divisions together under the Revenue Authority will assist in creating a single view of all modes of tax collections well as harmonising trade and border policies in Trinidad and Tobago.

A:

  • Assessment and collection of taxes under the revenue laws
  • Administration of the revenue laws
  • Enforcement of the revenue laws
  • Enforcement of border control measures subject to any other written law
  • Provision of revenue collection services to any statutory or other body to collect public monies
  • Facilitation of legitimate trade
  • Advising the government on tax-related matters

A: Focus will be placed on an ethical, high-performing workforce.

In order to attain this, there will be the creation of a learning and change culture, which will engender a more productive and efficient service.

A: According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are more than 60 tax administration entities that can be classified as semi-autonomous agencies.

The T&T Government has been able to benchmark against more than 40 such authorities from developed and developing countries, and has been able to customize the model best suited for our Republic.

What is clear is that established structures have fine-tuned the processes, allowing increased efficiency and productivity. We expect the same will happen with the TTRA.

A: Research would also show that many have succeeded beyond expectations. In our benchmarking of good practice, we have identified the common success factors and the pitfalls to avoid. 

A: The capital cost to establish the TTRA is effectively the cost of running the administration for the six months during setting up. The TTRA anticipates recovering that cost within the first year. Beyond that, all the assets and infrastructure needed to carry this new version of revenue collection responsibility already exist.

A: Citizens should expect fairness. The TTRA wants to ensure people who are in the system can voluntarily comply with the tax regulations, improved trade facilitation and stronger border controls. If compliance is disregarded, the new technology will ensure there is appropriate enforcement.

A: If an individual is consistently paying taxes, then this system is not intended to change anything in the method of paying. 

The TTRA’s focus is on the people who are unaware or who are deliberately trying to escape paying their taxes.

Similarly, there is a need to mitigate the overall high transaction cost of doing business through Customs & Excise.

A: The TTRA is establishing that everyone pays the appropriate amount of tax, whether a high-income earner or low-income earner.

The TTRA does not determine the tax policy. So, the Government of the day will establish the appropriate amount of tax to be collected.

A: All  positions, save those of Director General and those with the designation of Deputy Director (excluding Deputy Director, Enforcement), will be  permanent.