See Main Points of Imbert’s $57.6B Budget

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By Prior Beharry

YOU will now pay more to travel in and between Trinidad and Tobago.

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert delivered the 2022/2023 Budget in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Petrol prices have been increased for the second time this year while inter-island travel also goes up.

The total revenue is expected to be $56.175 billion and expenditure $57.685 billion, with Imbert noting, “if all goes according to plan, our fiscal accounts in 2023 will be close to balance with a deficit of $1.510 billion or 0.8 % of GDP.”

The Budget is pegged on an oil price of US$92.50 per barrel and natural gas price of US$6 per MMBtu.

See the main measures announced in the 2022/2023:

Personal income tax allowance exemption limit increases from $84,000 to $90,000 per year. It means that people earning $7,500 or less per month will pay no income tax. This takes effect  on January 1, 2023;

The Value Added Tax (VAT) threshold increases from $500,000 to $600,000. This takes effect on January 1, 2023;

Rebates of up to $25,000 for implementation of renewable energy such as solar and wind energy in agriculture. This takes effect on January 1, 2023;

Three-tier subsidy structure under the Housing and Village Improvement Programme (HVIP): $165,000.00 for construction on flat lands; $170,000.00 for construction on undulating lands; and $175,000.00 for construction on hilly lands. This takes effect on January 1, 2023;

One-time manufacturing tax credit for companies making an investment in new machinery, production lines and equipment up to a maximum of $50,000. This measure will require amendments to the Corporation Tax Act Chap 75:02 and takes effect on January 1, 2023;

Tax credit for energy companies from 25% to 30%;

Tiered system for Supplemental Petroleum Tax (SPT) at lower rates for shallow marine operators;

One-time tax credit to approved electronic payment providers and/or e-money issuers up to a maximum of $50,000. Takes effect on January 1, 2023;

Decrease in Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) from 35% to 30% for companies in deep water exploration;

Increase in fine for illegal timbering from $20,000 to $100,000;

Legislative amendment in 2023 to impose heavy fines for illegal quarrying;

Increasing fines in the scrap iron industry for stealing or illegally obtaining old metal, selling, purchasing, trading, receiving and dealing in stolen old metal from $15,000 to $100,000;

Amending Section 16A of the Corporation Tax Act, Chapter 75:02 to expand the exemption of approved small companies from the payment of corporation tax from a period of five years to six years;

Waiving VAT on new equipment for manufacturing companies utilising alternate energy technologies; renewable energy options, such as gasifiers to use biomass and harnessing renewable energy through wind, solar and water;

Apprenticeship allowance to encourage more businesses to hire persons 16 to 25 years for short-term apprenticeship to provide them with relevant experience and exposure to the world of work. Companies will be eligible for an allowance of 150% for all remuneration paid under such an allowance, up to a maximum of 5 % of the company’s total wages and salaries bill for one year;

Increase for commissioners of affidavits;

Increase in Firearm User’s Licence (FUL) fees with assault weapons, having significantly higher license fees than other types of firearms;

Tax amnesty on penalties and interest on taxes owed up to and including the year ending December 31, 2021. The amnesty will run from November 14, 2022, to February 17, 2023.

Increase in the penalty for oil pollution from $10,000 to $100,000;

An additional $3 million to the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries in our fight against these destructive pests (Giant African Snail and Moruga Locusts) for marketing and awareness campaigns, training of staff and agricultural supply materials;

Increases in inter-island travel. The cost of air-bridge from $150 to $200 one way and on the sea bridge people over 60 years will now have to pay $25 with standard class and premium class being increased to $75 and $150 respectively; and

Paying more at the pump. Premium and super gasoline and kerosene increase by $1 and diesel by 50 cents per litre. Premium gasoline – $7.75; Super gasoline $6.97; Diesel $4.41; and kerosene $4.50.


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