SEVERAL tax relief measures for the business community came into effect on January 1, 2022.

The Finance Ministry in a tweet reminded the public of the measures presented by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his budget of $ 52.4 billion for this year.

Here are the measures currently in force:

– a five percent reduction in the tax rate for major merchandise exporters for three years;

– 50% tax exemption on the first $ 100,000 of taxable income for new businesses whose core business is digitization and technological solutions;

– five percent reduction in the tax rate for three years for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) whose core business is technological solutions and digitization;

– total tax exemption during the first five-year period for new SMEs listed on the TT stock exchange;

– $ 8,000 fine for overweight trucks;

– five percent reduction in the manufacturing sector tax rate for two years on eligible projects;

– reduction of the withholding tax rate to eight percent on distributions made and to three percent when these distributions are made to a parent company, subsequent to the amendment of the income tax law;

– increase the limit to $ 30,000 on mortgage interest paid by the first owners for five years from the date of acquisition;

– increase in the relief granted on approved pension and annuity plans to $ 60,000;

–100 percent exemptions from VAT, motor vehicle tax and customs duties on imported battery electric vehicles less than two years old;

– 100% exemptions from VAT and customs duties on certain therapeutic equipment intended for the hearing, visually impaired and physically disabled;

– 10% increase in utility rebates on bills of $ 300 or less;

– 100 percent VAT and customs duty exemptions on all other computer hardware, software and peripherals;

– deduction for research and development capital (tax break) of up to 40 per cent of expenditure (in the calculation of taxable profits made by companies in the field of research and development);

– 30 percent tax credit up to $ 500,000 for companies investing in enhanced oil recovery through carbon capture and storage;

– 150 percent tax rebate of up to $ 1 million on corporate sponsorship to heritage properties under the supervision of the National Trust.

Commenting on the measures yesterday, the president of the Greater San Fernando Region Chamber of Commerce, Kiran Singh, said that while the Chamber is pleased to see the various measures implemented, the value tax refunds added tax (VAT) must be accelerated, in particular for the SME sector. .

“We are aware that the government’s fiscal position is in an unhealthy position. Small businesses have become very wary of high interest rates, extreme due diligence, and hidden fees imposed by banks. These factors would certainly have contributed to a drop in demand for financial services (loans). Surplus funds can be redirected to the VAT refund service. We only ask that what is owed to us be paid on time. Cash flow is the lifeblood of businesses, ”Singh said.

He further noted that the measures that have entered into force will bring some positivity, especially for the manufacturing sector, which is heavily focused on expanding its exports.