Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Car dealers seek tax delay
The Automotive Dealers Association of T&T Ltd (ADATT) is calling for consultation on the proposed increase in customs duties on motor vehicles. The dealers, led by Philip Knaggs, said there are more questions than answers so there is need to meet with the minister.
In his 2013/2014 budget presentation on Monday, Howai announced: “In respect of the importation of new and foreign used cars over 2,499 cc, I propose to increase customs duty by 25.0 per cent with effect from October 1, 2013, on new and foreign used cars over 2,499 cc, excluding T-vehicles and vehicles registered for use as maxi-taxis.” In its letter to the minister dated September 11, the ADATT said it is committed to open dialogue on the industry.
“Our organisation is always concerned when measures affecting our industry are taken without consultation. In some cases, these measures could have the desired effect with minor adjustments that could have been made beforehand. “Our door is always open. We remain committed to open dialogue and hope that your Government will commit to initiating formal or informal consultation in the future, before measures affecting our industry are decided upon.”
The association said it would be “unreasonable” to increase the import duties on vehicles which are en route to T&T. “Our companies have vehicles in transit to Trinidad that will arrive after October 1. We have also committed ourselves to purchasing specific vehicles that our suppliers have placed into their strict production schedules over the coming months. These commitments cannot be withdrawn, and any attempt to do so would jeopardise the relationships we have with our suppliers.”
Commenting on the 25 per cent increase, the group said: “ADATT assumes that the 25 per cent increase is an incremental one that would increase the existing import duty by a factor of 25 per cent, rather than increasing the import duty by 25 percentage points.” Earlier this week Howai said he would welcome consultation with the ADATT on the issue.
“We are always open to consultation. I didn’t receive feedback on it so, I certainly would be prepared to wait and treat with all the legitimate concerns of everyone in the industry. We are certainly most happy to sit and speak with (ADATT). Asked if he planned to move the deadline from October 1, Howai said: “We’ll talk and decide what we’ll do at that stage based on what is said and our own evaluation of what the risk it.”
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