Withholding Tax

Tags: Withholding Tax, non-resident

Individuals and companies are required to register with the Inland Revenue Division (IRD) and obtain a Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) file number before taking up employment or starting operations in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). Non-residents must visit the International Tax Unit of the IRD for evaluation and to determine their tax liability in T&T. A non-resident is a person who is employed or a company that is operating in T&T for a period of fewer than 183 days in any year. Non-residents are subject to tax on their total income unless they qualify under a specific legal exemption. Non-residents are not entitled to tax deductions.

How Do I Get Evaluated?

Non-resident individuals must visit the International Tax Unit and bring with them the following documents:

  1. A copy of your contract or statement of remuneration payable (including benefits) for services performed in Trinidad and Tobago, and any invoices you have submitted.
  2. Passport.
  3. Work permit.
  4. Evidence of taxes paid (if applicable).
  5. Completed application form for BIR File Number (forms P10/P11).

Non-resident companies seeking evaluation must first register with the Registrar of Companies and submit the originals and copies of the Notice of Address, Notice of Directors, and Certificate of Incorporation to the International Tax unit at the address above. For more information on registering a business follow this link.

The assessment is completed immediately if all necessary documents are provided.

Withholding Tax Submissions

The BIR implemented an Integrated Tax Processing System (ITPS) to improve its efficiency and delivery of service to its customers which includes how we receive Withholding Tax data.

To utilize this service, companies or individuals must be registered for e-Tax:

  • For a Company – At least one employee must be registered for e-Tax as an Administrator. The administrator has the option to grant access to other employees either Account Manager or Associate access to submit Withholding data on behalf of the company. Prepare and File or File access level is required for the Withholding Tax account. Please refer to [Link]Access Types[Link] for more information.
  • For an individual – The taxpayer must be registered for e-Tax with Prepare and File or File access levels to their Withholding Tax account.

Once logged in, there are two (2) options to submit Withholding data:

  1. Manually enter Withholding Tax data into a table
  2. Upload Withholding Tax data using the Bulk Upload Spreadsheet (download template below)

These two (2) options are available under the Withholding Tax account and must be used in instances where Withholding Tax payments are remitted or deemed to have been remitted or credited on the same day.

Please Note

Financial Institutions should not submit worksheets per branch, bu submit a consolidated worksheet of funds deemed to be remitted on a given day for all branches.

Manual Submission

For manageable submissions of Withholding data, there is the option to manually enter data into a table with the required columns and submit to the BIR. This table automatically calculates the Total Gross Amount and Total Withholding Tax due as multiple transactions are entered.

The procedure for manual submission is as follows:

  1. Log onto e-Tax
  2. Go to the Withholding Tax account
  3. Select Submit Worksheet
  4. Manually enter data
  5. Enter the Transaction Date (this is the date the payment was made to the foreign entity)
  6. Add a Payee (the name of the party receiving the payment)
  7. Enter the Payee’s Name
  8. Select the Payee’s Country from the dropdown list
  9. Select the Income Code from the dropdown list
  10. The Withholding Rate is automatically generated (this field cannot be edited)
  11. Enter the Gross Amount Due
  12. The Withholding Tax Due and Net Transaction Amount are automatically calculated (these fields cannot be edited)
  13. Enter the Payee’s address in the remaining fields
  14. To add multiple entries select ‘Add a Payee’ which is located to the top right of the table
  15. Click Submit

Note: Multiple entries can be added to the same table once they have the same Transaction Date.

Bulk Upload Submission

The Withholding Tax Bulk Upload Spreadsheet can be used to ease the burden of preparing numerous (C5/WHT2) forms with the same Transaction Date.

The details of the use and procedure for the Withholding Tax Bulk Upload sheet is listed hereunder:

  • The Withholding Tax Bulk Upload Spreadsheet is an Excel template which will be used for the processing of Withholding Tax liabilities at the Board of Inland Revenue.
  • The template is a protected Excel spreadsheet 3.31MB in size. It consists of eleven columns and accommodates up to 1,500 individual transactions (C5s and/or WT2s). The text fields default to upper case, the currency fields are in $TTD and the date field is set to dd MMM yyyy (e.g. 25 JUN 2019). The Withholding Tax Rate, Withholding Tax, and Net Payment columns are greyed out to indicate that these fields cannot be edited; the template calculates the values based on data entered by the user.
  • The template is not to be tampered with or altered under any circumstances. All changes to the template e.g. rate changes or new income types) will be made by the International Tax Unit and an amended template will be communicated to the taxpayer via established channels.
  • Any templates which have been altered or tampered with will be rejected.
  • Taxpayers should note that the rates on the template reflect the ITU’s Withholding tax rates at a specific point in time and it is the tax payer’s responsibility to ensure that they are using themost up-to-date template. Additionally, International Tax Unit reserves the right to make any changes necessary in accordance with the Tax Laws to the information supplied on the template.
  • Templates must be completed and submitted in a timely manner as there has been no change in the time specified for payment i.e. Withholding tax payments are to be made within thirty (30)days after the payment is deemed to have been remitted or credited. A copy of the Withholding Tax Bulk Upload spreadsheet can be accessed on this page using the link below.
    Withholding Tax Bulk Upload Spreadsheet

The procedure for bulk submissions are as follows:

  • Complete the Bulk Upload spreadsheet by doing the following
    1. Download and open a copy of the Bulk Upload spreadsheet
    2. Set Excel's default security level to medium
      • Go to Tools,
      • Then Macros,
      • Then Security – and check the medium radio button.
    3. Open the worksheet. A “Security Warning” message box appears; select “Enable Macros”.
    4. Enter the Taxpayer’s (the party remitting the payment)Withholding Tax account number (available from ITU)
    5. Enter the transaction date (date the payment was deemed remitted or credited) in the ISO standard format yyyy-mm-dd (e.g. 2019-06-25).
    6. Enter the Payee’s Name (the name of the party receiving the payment).
    7. Select the Payee’s Country from the dropdown list
    8. Select the Payment Type from the dropdown list
    9. The WHT rate is automatically generated (this field cannot be edited)
    10. Enter the gross payment amount
    11. The WHT Tax and Net Payment amounts are automatically calculated (these fields cannot be edited)
    12. Enter the Payee’s address in the remaining fields.
    13. Note: The Total Gross Payments, Total Withholding Tax, Total Net Payments and Count of entries fields at the top of the template are automatically calculated.
  • The file should be saved using the file name WHT_NameofCompany_DateSubmitted e.g. “WHT_JohnDoeLtd._20190421”, and then submitted along with a copy of the cover sheet
  • Once the spreadsheet has been completed it can be submitted via e-Tax by doing the following:
    1. Log onto e-Tax
    2. Go to the Withholding Tax account
    3. Select Submit Worksheet
    4. Select Import Excel Spreadsheet
    5. Select Click here to import
    6. Locate the spreadsheet on your computer
    7. Import the spreadsheet
    8. Confirm the totals match the amounts on the spreadsheet
    9. Click Submit