Government MPs thumped their desks and Opposition MPs grumbled as Imbert declared, “At such, TT will not be subject to any immediate sanctions arising from our inability to meet the FATCA reporting deadline of September 30, 2016.” Declaring the People’s National Movement (PNM) has done in one year what its People’s Partnership (PP) predecessor failed to do, Imbert noted that the previous FATCA reporting deadline which the PP failed to meet was September 30, 2015.
As a result, Imbert said the PNM had to scramble to get a one year extension from that date, “to avoid blacklisting of TT.” He stressed the US Treasury has informed Government it will be looking at the progress the country makes, “in this matter as we go forward into 2017.” Imbert said that if TT does not make progress and achieve full compliance by the next reporting deadline, “we shall be removed from the list of countries that have an IGA in effect and subjected to the full brunt of the sanctions that flow from non-compliance with FATCA.
He told the Opposition their support for the bill is “a mandatory requirement” for FATCA compliance and debate on the bill will resume shortly after the conclusion of the Budget debate. Speaking afterwards with reporters, Imbert rejected claims by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar created unnecessary hysteria amongst the population over yesterday’s FATCA reporting deadline. He explained, “We are ahead of the game because that takes us beyond December of this year into 2017.” US Ambassador to TT John Estrada urged TT to pass FATCA legislation no later than next February.