Trinidad seeking to be Global Forum compliant by 2018

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Oct 28, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government says it will soon introduce legislation to Parliament aimed at ensuring that the country meets its obligations to the Paris-based Global Forum, which has become the key international body working on the implementation of the international standards on tax transparency.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, said the issue was even more critical than the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) legislation which was passed in the House of Representatives and in the Senate on February 23 and March 7, respectively.
“This is FATCA on steroids,” he said, indicating that he would seek the support of the opposition in the passage of the legislation since it required a three-fifths majority for passage.
Al-Rawi said that Trinidad and Tobago’s compliance with the Global Forum is significant, with most of the country’s retail imports coming from the Far East. He warned also that the country’s commercial association with the European market could be “potentially prejudiced,” if it was not Global Forum compliant.
Al-Rawi, who is due to leave here on Saturday for Argentina, to defend Trinidad and Tobago’s position on being compliant with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements on issues such as counter-terrorism and money laundering, said there was constant communication with the Global Forum, which had input into the legislation to come before Parliament.
Al-Rawi said the Keith Rowley administration was working “at break neck speed” to ensure compliance with the Global Forum’s requirements, telling reporters that the former administration, which had given an assurance that the country would be compliant by September 2017, never put in place the measures to achieve that requirement.
He said the government has since “written and requested a deferral to September 2018.”
The Global Forum ensures that these high standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes are in place around the world through its monitoring and peer review activities.

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