THE government of Trinidad and Tobago has temporarily suspended Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds due to lack of funding, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior economist with the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department has said.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert, when contacted by phone, mobile text and email over the past week, has not commented on the IMF's statement on VAT refunds.
But IMF senior economist Stephane Schlotterbeck said in a working paper on Tax Administration Reforms in the Caribbean released on April 4: “Large and growing excess credits pose tax policy and tax administration problems. In a number of countries, the expansion of zero-rated domestic supplies of goods and services has contributed to building up a large volume of VAT credits, including in the retail sectors. This has increased the number of refund claims and put tax administrations under pressure to refund the credits within acceptable periods (good practice is 30 days).