Posted On: Tuesday, 17 July 2012
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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Tax harmonisation in the CARICOM Treaty and in the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) needs to be given priority.
Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of Finance and the Economy Minister, Larry Howai made the statement as he addressed the 25th General Assembly and Technical Conference of Caribbean Organization of Tax Administration.
"It is noted that in the tax arena, tax harmonisation remains a work-in-progress. Tax harmonisation reduces the tendency for competition amongst member states and provides equal investment opportunity amongst states," Howai said.
The minister said he has been reliably informed that multinational companies are already exploiting the region's failure to take this step and it is "working to the detriment of the region as a whole".
The minister added that in order to improve the situation regarding taxation in the region the information exchange capacity of the treaty must be improved.
He said discussions for this improvement were already ongoing and the effort must continue.
The minister said in competing for investments by making their tax systems more attractive to multinational companies, countries in the region must be careful to ensure that the changes are not anti-competitive and harmful to the region.
Howai also suggested greater and more regular interaction among member states to aid in standardisation of our tax issues