- February 3, 2020
- Posted by: dawgenglobal
- Categories: Accounting and Consulting Firms, Advisory, Competitive research, Consulting Services, News, Taxation
Trinidad and Tobago has seen a 79% surge in tax evasion cases last year, according to country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) recently submitted 2019 report.
In that report Trinidad’s FIU says it has received 134 reports of tax evasion valued at TTD$697 million and 286 reports of money laundering valued at TTD$329 million. Overall tax evasion and money laundering accounted for over TTD one billion in suspicious reports or transactions in T&T in 2019.
The FIU recorded some1, 019 suspicious transactions valued at TTD$1.7 billion for 2019. These latest figures were first reported by local news outlet, Daily Express.
The FIU is reporting that 30% of the persons identified as tax evaders were non-nationals from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The FIU received reports of tax evasion in 2019 amounted to TTD$595m more than 2018.
Tax evasion in T&T has reached the extent of being among the top five categories of suspected criminal conduct leading to money laundering.
Tax evasion indicators noted by FIU included the co-mingling of funds: putting business processes into personal accounts, large deposits of cash put into personal accounts with unverifiable explanations and reporting entities may not get clear explanations for the source of funds.
This is in addition to depositors may use night safe mechanisms for cheque/cash deposits, business funds repatriated abroad with no reasonable explanation of why the money is going that way and structured deposits to beat the reporting threshold fund limits: using numerous/repeated deposits that get past that threshold.
The FIU is a specialised, intelligence-gathering unit within the Ministry of Finance. The 2019 report, which was submitted to Finance Minister, Colm Imbert covers the period October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.