Reducing Your Income Tax
There are a number of ways you can reduce your personal tax liability. The government allows you to deduct certain payments and expenses from your declared income, which reduces the amount of tax you must pay. These deductions include:
- Tertiary education expenses.
- First time home ownership.
- Approved deferred annuity contributions or premiums.
- Alimony or maintenance payments.
- Venture Capital Tax credits.
How can I reduce the amount of tax I pay?
If you are an employee of a business, the Tax Declaration 1 Form (commonly referred to as the TD1 form) is used to calculate the amount of tax that is withheld by your employer. You must complete and submit a TD1 form to your employer when you begin your employment. You must also ensure that your TD1 form is updated whenever your salary, deductions or tax credits change. Your TD1 form is an important document and it is in your interest to ensure that it is accurate and up to date to avoid paying more tax than you are required. Please note that you are not obligated to file a tax return if you are an employee. However, you can choose to file a return if you disagree with the amount of tax withheld by your employer.
If you are self-employed you do not fill out a TD1 form. You pay your taxes quarterly based on the amounts that you have calculated as due, and you file a tax return at the end of the financial year, no later than the date set by the Inland Revenue Division. The filing deadline is in March or April, and can vary from year to year. You should document your deductions on your tax return.
Visit the FAQ Section of the Inland Revenue Division Website for more information.
How are my tax deductions approved?
If you claim tax deductions for tertiary education expenses, first-time home ownership, alimony or maintenance payments, venture capital tax credits, and or private annuities (annuities other than those offered by your employer), you must seek approval from the Inland Revenue Division by submitting the TD1 form to the Taxpayer Section at the addresses below. The Inland Revenue Division will issue a Certificate of Approval for PAYE Tax Deduction form to your employer to guide tax deductions. If you claim deductions for expenses other than those listed above, you do not need to seek approval from the Inland Revenue Division.
You must submit supporting documentation to prove that you have incurred legitimate tax-deductible expenses. Examples of supporting documents include:
- A pay slip from your employer, showing salary, gross income and taxes withheld.
- Evidence of first time home ownership, such as a sworn affidavit stating that you are a first time home owner, a completion certificate from Town and Country Planning(for new home construction), the deed of conveyance showing transfer of ownership of property and date of transfer, and mortgage deed from your financial institution.
- Evidence of contributions paid in respect of deferred annuities;
- Court order and evidence of alimony/maintenance payment;
- Acceptance to tertiary education institution and evidence of expenses incurred.
TD1 forms and supporting documents should be taken to a Taxpayer AServices Section office between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.
Where can I find more information?
Taxpayer Services Section
Inland Revenue Division
GOVERNMENT CAMPUS PLAZA
2-4 Ajax Street
Port of Spain
Tel. (868) 623-1211 or 800-8299 (TAXX)
South Regional Office
52 Cipero Street
Tel. (868) 657-6041/5
Tobago Regional Office
Tel. (868) 639-2410/2538