The GOVERNMENT yesterday extended the deadline for submitting the property tax assessment declaration form to January 31, 2022 as of today.

The announcement was made in a public notice addressed to anyone in possession of residential land, commercial land, agricultural land or a combination of all of the above (mixed use) with or without buildings at T&T.

The notice pointed out that under section 32 of the Land Assessment Act, failure to submit the form constitutes a criminal offense punishable by a fine of $ 5,000.

The notice also informed homeowners that they should not include the original documents when submitting their completed forms through the drop box.

Owners will be contacted once the declaration has been processed and a Property Identification Number (PIN) assigned to the property will be assigned to them. Each property will be assigned a PIN, according to the public notice.

Last Wednesday, in response to an urgent question in Parliament from Chief Opposition Whip David Lee, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said the Evaluation Division of the Ministry of Finance had not received the 200,000 forms valuation statement required to proceed with the implementation of the property. tax.

Imbert said: “The current exercise is led 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. Once 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 right now is 165,000. By law, we need to reach 200,000 before the property tax implementation process can begin.

“As a result, the Evaluation Division is closely monitoring the situation and an appropriate decision will be taken in a timely manner. “

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 yesterday, said there may be criminal liability or a penalty if these forms are not filed by November 30, therefore the government is urged to consider requesting an extension of time. as an urgent matter.

The CRBC believes the timing of submitting property tax forms – which require measuring living spaces and other additional details – makes it difficult for homeowners to complete them at this time.

“Business owners are focused on growing sales this Christmas time, right after the state of emergency. In addition to that, you have to take into account that there is an election in Tobago.

“Bearing in mind that many businesses are in recovery, if not survival, mode for their members and that employees and the general public are currently focused on financial and family matters, we call on the government to consider an extension. until 2022 when business and personal situations are expected to normalize, ”the chambers said.

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