US gives Trinidad new deadline for approving FATCA legislation
The United States is recommending that Trinidad and Tobago pass the Foreign Account Tax Compliance ACT (FATCA) by February next year, providing a five-month breathing space for the country.
US Ambassador John Estrada in a brief statement issued from Washington said he wanted to provide an update on FATCA after he had initially indicated that the Keith Rowley administration had submitted a “detailed step-by-step plan” to the United States Government on how it intends to bring the FATCA agreement into force.
Estrada said that the plan had been submitted to the US Treasury.
“Let me start by saying we strongly recommend that Trinidad and Tobago pass legislation no later than February 2017, in order to carry out the commitments undertaken when the FATCA agreement was signed by our two countries, and in line with the implementation plan put forward by the government of Trinidad and Tobago,” Estrada said.
“I would remind all of Trinidad and Tobago that FATCA is just one element of the strong and broad relationship between our two countries.
“In fact, we have signed several bilateral agreements to expand our cooperation just within the past six months,” said Estrada who is due to return here on Friday.
Both the government and the opposition have been blaming each other for the failure to meet the September 30 deadline to pass the legislation.
The FATCA legislation demands that foreign banks provide information to America’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on any customer deemed a “US person” if they have more than US$50,000.
Washington has said that the legislation aims to crack down on tax dodgers who hide hundreds of millions of US dollars in offshore accounts annually in an effort to avoid paying taxes.