Trinidad Finance Minister: Requirements of US FATCA Law “Onerous”

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Above: Trinidad Finance Minister Larry Howai (Photo: MF Trinidad)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Trinidad and Tobago Finance and Economy Minister Larry Howai is describing legislation being introduced by the United States on foreign financial institutions as “onerous.”

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will go into effect in 2013, and a number of Caribbean governments have been working to prepare for its implementation.

“FATCA introduces what I would describe as onerous reporting requirements on our financial institutions as well as non-financial foreign entities and will enforce a withholding tax where the desired documentation and reporting requirements are not met,” Howai said. “Our financial institutions expect the act to impact their processes and operations, customer service and technological systems.”

That withholding tax is on 30 percent of all US-based income.

Howai, who was speaking at the Council of Securities Regulators of the Americas meeting hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Securities Exchange Commission at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad, said that some attempts were being made to address this through the implementation of a regional task force.

“It is therefore my hope that we can mobilize our regional machinery and speak with one voice to resolve challenges such as this,” he said.

 

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