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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Phase 1 Peer Review Report - Trinidad and Tobago

This report for Trinidad and Tobago has been published on 27 Jan 2011. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Companies incorporated outside of Trinidad and Tobago but having their central management and control in Trinidad and Tobago are not required to provide information identifying their owners as a part of registration requirements and foreign companies are not required to compulsorily keep a share register in Trinidad and Tobago. Therefore, the availability of information that identifies the owners of such companies will generally depend on the law of the jurisdiction in which the company is incorporated and so may not be available in all cases.  In such cases, Trinidad and Tobago should ensure that ownership and identity information should be available. 
There is no specific requirement that information concerning the settlor, trustees and beneficiaries of trusts be maintained.  An obligation should be established in Trinidad and Tobago to maintain information on the settlors, trustees and beneficiaries of their trusts. 
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   There is provision in Trinidad and Tobago law to grant tax authorities the power to obtain information for its exchange of information partners in cases where it is not required for its own tax purposes. However, this requires the issuance of a Presidential Order in order to have effect. Such an Order has only been made in the case of 1 of Trinidad and Tobago’s 24 exchange of information agreements that are in force.  Trinidad and Tobago should ensure that such an Order is made with respect to the remaining exchange of information agreements that are in force. 
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   There are no exceptions to prior notification procedures for accessing bank account information. To require in all cases that the taxpayer be first approached, and thus notified, may unduly prevent or delay the effective exchange of information in urgent cases.  It is recommended that certain exceptions from prior notification be permitted (e.g. in cases in which the information requested is of a very urgent nature or the notification is likely to undermine the chance of the success of the investigation conducted by the requesting jurisdiction). 
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   There is provision in Trinidad and Tobago law to grant tax authorities the power to obtain information for its exchange of information partners in cases where it is not required for its own tax purposes. However, this requires the issuance of a Presidential Order in order to have effect. Such an Order has only been made in the case of 1 of Trinidad and Tobago’s 24 exchange of information agreements that are in force.  Trinidad and Tobago should ensure that such an Order is made with respect to the remaining exchange of information agreements that are in force. 
Some DTCs limit exchange of information (i) to information for carrying out the provisions of the Convention, or (ii) to information concerning a resident of one of the Contracting States, or (iii) by failing to provide for exchange of bank information.  Trinidad and Tobago should revise its existing treaties which do not currently meet the standard. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Trinidad and Tobago has only one agreement that appears to provide for effective exchange of information.   Trinidad and Tobago should bring its existing agreements that do not meet the standard up to the standard and enter into agreements with all relevant exchange of information partners. Trinidad and Tobago should also be prepared to enter into new arrangements that provide for effective exchange of information. 
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.