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Tobago to get new stamp duty machine soon

By Kim Boodram

A new stamp duty system is on the way for Tobago. For the past month the island's stamp duty machine has been down, forcing attorneys to bring their clients' documents to Trinidad for certification.

Finance Minister Larry Howai, in the question-and-answer session of the Senate yesterday, said a new system should be in place in two months.

Attorneys with clients on the sister isle have complained that the situation had become critical for them and for the business community, as Land Deeds and Bills of Sale could not be registered there.

The stamp duty machine had broken down at the Inland Revenue Office in Scarborough.

Attorney Deborah Moore-Miggins, at a press briefing on the matter last month, called on the Central Government or the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to provide some relief.

Howai said yesterday that the machine cannot be repaired or replaced, as it is no longer being manufactured and parts are not available.

He said when the issue was brought to his attention, he instructed the Board of Inland Revenue to implement a system similar to the one utilised by the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

"This system is expected to be functional by March of 2013," he said.

Howai said it was his understanding that most attorneys doing business in Tobago also had offices in Trinidad, where stamping could be facilitated in the meantime.

Deeds of conveyance were also being brought to Trinidad twice weekly to be stamped in Port of Spain, he said.

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