The GOVERNMENT yesterday extended the deadline for filing the property tax assessment declaration form to January 31, 2022 from today.
The announcement was made in a public notice to anyone in possession of residential land, commercial land, agricultural land or a combination of any of the above (mixed use ) with or without buildings at T&T.
The notice pointed out that under Section 32 of the Assessment Act, failure to submit the form is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of $5,000.
The notice also advised homeowners that they should not include original documents when submitting their completed forms through the dropbox.
Owners will be contacted when the return has been processed and given a Property Identification Number (PIN) assigned to the property. Each property will be assigned a PIN, according to the public notice.
Last Wednesday, responding to an urgent question in Parliament from Chief Opposition Whip David Lee, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the Department of Finance’s Valuation Division had not received the 200,000 assessment required to proceed with the implementation of property tax.
Imbert said: “The current exercise is driven and led by the Evaluation Division. The information I have from the Assessment Division is that on the previous occasion approximately 127,000 returns were submitted for residential properties.
“So far, on this occasion, around 55,000 additional forms have been submitted. When disaggregated, we determined that of those 55,000, approximately 7,000 are resubmissions and approximately 37,500 are residential.
“The total number of returns for residential properties at present is 165,000. By law, we must reach 200,000 before the property tax implementation process can begin.
“As a result, the Evaluation Division is carefully monitoring the situation and an appropriate decision will be taken at the appropriate time.”
On November 19, the Confederation of Regional Chambers of Commerce (CRBC) called on the government to consider extending the filing of property tax forms beyond November 30, 2021.
The CRBC, in a statement released yesterday, said there could be criminal liabilities or penalty if these forms are not filed by November 30. Therefore, the government is urged to consider the request for extension of time as a matter of urgency.
The CRBC says the timing of submitting property tax forms – which require measuring living spaces and other additional details – is making it difficult for property owners at this time.
“Business owners are focused on boosting business sales during this Christmas period, just after the state of emergency. In addition to this, it must be taken into account that there is an election in Tobago.
“Keeping in mind that many businesses are in recovery or even survival mode for their members and that employees and the general public are currently focused on financial and family matters, we are asking the government to consider an extension until 2022 when businesses and personal situations should normalize,” the chambers said.