Removal of VAT Improves Living Conditions

October 1, 2012 Taxation in Trinidad and Tobago

Removal of VAT Improves Living ConditionsCHAGUANAS – The cost of living in Trinidad and Tobago will be lowered by the end of the year, as the government reduces VAT and cuts custom duties on main food products.

While speaking at a public meeting in Chaguanas on September 30th, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced that from November 15th 2012 all foods, except alcohol and luxury foods, sold in the country will be zero-rated for VAT.

Currently the 15 percent VAT is applied to the sale of almost all foods in Trinidad and Tobago, with only the 59 main food items of the consumer basket being zero-rated.

The Prime Minister indicated that in order to reduce food prices even further, the government is conducting a review of the effect of customs duties on imported foods.

Kamla Persad-Bissessar also said that removing VAT on foods will boost activity in the country’s manufacturing sector, increasing employment levels in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Prime Minister’s announcement came one day before the Finance Minister Winston Dookeran is scheduled to unveil the government budget for 2013, and, according to the Prime Minister, officially detail the new VAT exemption.

Photo by CW Ye