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Steps for Accessing Tax Benefits
Applicants must complete an Application Form for Approval of a Tourism Project (Form A). This form can be obtained from the Tourism Development Company (TDC) or the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
Applications are evaluated by TDC/THA and recommendations are made to the Minister of Tourism. If the Minister of Tourism is satisfied that the tourism project would assist the tourism industry and is in the public interest, an Interim Approval or Approval of a Tourism Project (Form B) is granted to the owner/operator of the project.
If the owner/operator needs to import items for the tourism project he/she must complete an Application Form for a Permit (Form C) to import items free of customs duty.
The list of items for duty free importation is evaluated by TDC/THA and submitted to the Ministry of Tourism for further evaluation and approval. The Minister of Tourism then grants the Permit (Form D) to the owner/operator of the tourism project.
On completion of the tourism project, the owner/operator must submit full details of the Actual Capital Expenditure on Form E to the Ministry of Tourism. The expenditure must be certified by an accredited Valuator, Accountant, Engineer or Quantity Surveyor. A Completion Certificate from the relevant Local Health Department and Regional Municipal Authority must also be submitted.
On completion, the project is examined by TDC and the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that it is completed in accordance with the conditions in the Interim Approval or Approval of a Tourism Project (Form B). If the project is substantially completed, an Order is issued by the Minister of Tourism declaring the project an "Approved Tourism Project". The Order will specify the tax benefits granted to the owner/operator of the project.
After the project is declared a bona fide Tourism Project, the lending agency involved must apply to the Minister of Finance for exemption from tax on interest received on an approved loan used in financing the project.
The Minister of Finance conveys approval for the tax exemption by a Tourism Development (Exemption from Tax) Order.