Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Budget (Statement) of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 2016

Many times we refer to the Budget Statement which  is usually presented by the Minister of Finance as "The Budget" either because we have calculated the maths on the probability of :

  • The Statement being adopted  by those who belong to the party which is in power and, or 
  • Who  in the Opposition and in the Independent Senators will support the position being outlined,
  • How close are we to the next elections and the general feeling of the population towards the accomplishments of the Govt. which is in power
In real terms the Statement is a proposed piece of legislation which has to be read, debated and approved with references to the Acts which are being impacted upon and the Acts which are to be amended. This process can take three months in some instances and this can be a time of agony, especially in a year when a Tax Amnesty is proposed.
This concept of a Tax Amnesty  is one which produces anxiety as the period between the approval and the conclusion  of the amnesty is so  short. So much so that persons (clients) may not commit to certain types of work at the earliest time when the due date is almost six months down the road. This is true when they have other commitments within their company for which they may have budgeted and for which they may  have received approval. Thus usually the scope of work which is allowed by a Tax Amnesty may need special approval from a Board or Committee so much so that the client  may seek tentative approval at the earliest opportunity, subject to the approval of the Budget i.e. the Act of Parliament.
 On the side of the accountants, they may want to maximise their clients cash flow, yet manage the commitments with respect to their staff. This is important for several reasons in that:

  • There are clients whose work have been scheduled  months in advance and to whom commitments have been made. These clients may be their bread and butter clients and who may have their own commitments and deliveries and thus these clients may be the priority for some persons.
  • Usually  there are long lines at the Board of Inland Revenue close to the due date for filing of any document and persons work through a two step process where  a voucher is approved by a clerk  which allows the transaction to be entered into the system.
  • The next step is the acceptance of the payment and the issuance of the official receipt.
Anyway in real terms, here is a link to the Budget Statement  for 2016 and some of the points which  now appeal to me: http://finance.gov.tt/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Budget-Speech-2016.pdf

  1. Agricultural Incentives: " Madam Speaker, consistent with our 2015 Election Manifesto promise, in pursuit of our objective for achieving food security, we will exempt from all duties and taxes, inputs into the agricultural sector, including approved chemicals, pest control, approved vehicles, approved fishing vessels and equipment. These measures will take effect from January 1, 2016."
  2. Public Services:" Madam Speaker, we are improving and facilitating the delivery of public services, commencing with the reintroduction of a 10-year validity period for passports, for adults over the age of 18, as well as removing the requirement for our citizens to complete immigration forms at all official ports of entry. This measure will take effect on January 1, 2016."
  3. Infrastructure Incentives: "Madam Speaker, the present tax incentive framework for the construction of facilities necessary for national development such as affordable housing, recreational, sporting and community facilities and multi-storey car parks has proven to be largely ineffective. We need to motivate the private sector to invest in the construction of public facilities, in particular car parks in urban areas, in order to generate employment and economic activity and to provide much needed public amenities. After consultation with all of the major stakeholders and in particular the construction industry, I propose to introduce a comprehensive and workable tax incentive framework for such facilities at the time of the mid-year review of the fiscal year 2016 Budget."
  4. Transfer Pricing "Madam Speaker, we intend to secure our revenue base. A significant leakage in our revenue stream is our inability to capture the full potential of the tax liability of foreign branches of multinational corporations operating in Trinidad and Tobago. A majority of the volume and value of global trade in goods and services is transacted through branches and subsidiaries of multinational corporations. Intragroup trade poses significant challenges to taxing authorities as the multinational corporations seek to minimise their global tax liabilities. Transfer pricing rules with the application of the principle of arms-length transactions represent modern, fair and transparent practices utilised by taxing authorities. These rules will determine the tax liabilities of branches and subsidiaries of multinational corporations thereby constraining multinational corporations to utilise tax mitigating structures, including moving transactions to lower tax jurisdictions with lower tax rates. Almost one hundred advanced, emerging and developing countries have adopted transfer pricing rules based on a model pioneered by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). We are advancing work on the introduction of transfer pricing legislation which will represent another mechanism in our thrust to optimise our tax revenue."
  5. Taxes on Receipts: "BUSINESS FUND LEVY Madam Speaker, in order to spread the burden of adjustment across the society, I propose to increase the Business Levy from 0.2 percent per quarter to 0.6 percent per quarter. This measure will increase revenue by $327.5 million and will take effect from January 1, 2016. • GREEN FUND LEVY Madam Speaker, for similar reasons, I propose to increase the rate of contribution to the Green Fund from 0.1 percent per quarter to 0.3 percent per quarter. This measure will increase revenue by $544.5 million and will take effect on January 1, 2016"
  6. Value Added Taxes: " Madam Speaker, the base and efficiency of the Value Added Tax regime have been consistently eroded since its establishment in 1990. I propose to improve efficiency in collection and to broaden the base by reviewing and adjusting exemptions and zero-rated items which are associated with nonessential or luxury items, and which are not critically important to the livelihoods and basic cost of living of our citizens. And consistent with our 2015 Election Manifesto Promise, I propose to reduce the Value Added Tax rate from 15.0 percent to 12.5 percent. The combination of widening the base, increasing collection and compliance, and reducing the rate is expected to yield approximately $4.0 billion. Further, for better administrative efficiency, I also propose to increase the threshold for Value Added Tax registration from $360,000 to $500,000. These measures will take effect on January 1, 2016."
  7. Personal Deductions from Annual Emoulment Income: "Madam Speaker, consistent with our 2015 Election Manifesto Promise, I propose to provide relief to working families by increasing the personal income tax exemption limit from $60,000 to $72,000. All taxpayers earning $6,000 a month or less will now be exempt from tax and will not be required to file tax returns. This will put additional income into the pockets of these individuals by reducing personal tax revenue by $250.0 million. This measure will take effect on January 1, 2016."
© Jennifer Bailey jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Republic Day 2015

In many parishes in Trinidad and Tobago there is a  fair amount of respect for the country in which the parish operates, so much so that when masses are held either on a public holiday or close to one, the national anthem is sung during the mass. This tradition may have arisen from having so many priests function as school teachers during their careers so that the practices of the school come through into the life of the parish. Whatever the reason for or origin of  the practice, this morning on Republic day, it felt good to sing the national anthem.  I had  started the day with a bit of hangover from the day before, after celebrating the feast day of St. Pio so much so that I wanted to be in a state of grace and continue the year in that state. Having the anthem sung during the mass brought about a bit of remembrance of Dr. Eric Williams ( dec'd),  our country's first prime minister who like His Grace Archbishop Anthony Pantin ( dec'd) was another first for me. So much so that I was extremely mellow during mass.  Also being close to the Finbar Ryan Geriatric Home brought about a sense of reverence for both the Archbishop who held the post before Archbishop Pantin as well as his Auxilliary Bishop who laid the cornerstone at St. Finbars RC church'.  While they may have died before I was born, there are so many positive memories of them in persons who I encounter, that I am sorry that I may have overlooked them and their contribution to our society.  And then life returned to normal as I visited the Chapel of St Catherine of Sienna for a brief stay.... Here's to hoping that:
  • A soup kitchen is opened in the area as there are a fair number of older persons who reside within close proximity to the area and this service will be of benefit to them. That we ask for contributions to maintain the kitchen, so as to provide employment to persons in the community and build a life "style" in the parish.
  • We start a meditation area in that location and  in the surrounding areas as this will allow for the maintenance of mellow feelings. If meditation sessions are scheduled at regular intervals, there will be a flow of persons to the areas which will bring about a boost in foot traffic and in mellow feelings!
  • We start yoga sessions so that persons can learn mindfulness and all of the other benefits associated with yoga!
  • We start a mediation area to allow for the learning of new skills for everyone. This too will enhance the skills of both the receiver and the giver!
  • We start saying the national pledge to bring about a sense of continuity of who we were in school into our adulthood.  See the National Pledge below!
  • We document as much as possible on the lives of our priests, so that we keep information that will be soon gone in a state of readiness for the next generation. 

Here is a copy of the pledge, which you can say:


© Jennifer Bailey jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Some things I would do and continue to do going forward!!

Recently I saw a post on changes to the color of the sky over a city  which occurred over a period of weeks. Having not saved the post nor the name of the city, I would hesitate to  go into the details of the change, however in light of my desire to embrace going green some more, here are things that I would like to do:
  1. Have more plants around me! These would be hanging in baskets,  in addition to being kept in containers and growing in the ground.
  2. Grow more of my own food. This would entail growing green figs (bananas), plantains, bananas in the area where I live. Also I would consider growing beans, cucumbers, pumpkins on trellises!.. 
  3. Consider the period for  which I am making decisions. In real terms, this would mean enquiring about options should I acquire a home in a community with shared  or community space. It would also mean looking at the space which is available  and to which I am committing as in the medium to long term, the land which is available around the home would allow for more plants and a different life style. When I saw the gardening options in Cayman Islands, I realised that the supply of green bananas may be possible due to the availability of plants, however to reduce the cost of the investment, I would need land on which  to plant the trees. Think Pastelles and Paimi.See the attached link, http://www.powerflower.ky/gallery.
  4. Revisit the activities in which I am engaged... After viewing the blog from which the following extract was taken, I realised that  the activities which are available to support green initiatives offered opportunities for a life style challenge 
  • " We are located at #35 Doubloon Drive in the Bodden Town District. Doubloon Drive is just off Shamrock Drive exit between Beach Bay Road and the Northward (Prison ) Road. Shamroock Drive is the main road to the eastern districts of Bodden Town, North Side and East End. 
  • We are open every Sunday 2-5pm during which time you may tour the Gardens and purchase freshly picked items at our Sunday Green Market. 
  • Also, a Fruit/Produce Tasting Event is held on the first Sunday of each month, 5-6pm. 
  • Come and savour what's in season and learn more about what you are tasting in a eco-friendly agri-tourism setting. 
  • We also attend the Farmers Market at The Grounds in Lower Valley Bodden Town, every Saturday 7am-12 noon."
    Plantation House Garden Tours

    Plantation House Garden Tours


    4. Attend Farmer's Markets and Up Markets. This would allow me to support an industry and events where the development of markets, portable and otherwise would be taking place. While I was introduced to the concept of the Upmarket in Trinidad, I am discovering markets in other places such as the one which is available in Melbourne. Also there is a page of events which makes both the upmarket and the area very appealing as you can see what is happening for the months to come. See the following links:
     http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/Whatson/Shopping/Pages/300213c5-27c0-43c7-a0ca-852e38864ca1.aspx http://www.thatsmelbourne.com.au/Whatson/Shopping/Pages/Shopping.aspx
    The Growing Friends Group holds two public plant sales each year. These are the only opportunities for members of the public to buy rare plants propagated from the Gardens' stock.
    © Jennifer Bailey jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com

Tuesday, 15 September 2015



The photos show different spots in the same body of sea/ocean...  While both are taken to capture the color and perspective of the sea, be it the waves in the first one, versus the painting like quality of the second, or the tones in the color indicating movement in the first one, or the painting like quality of the second, both do not reveal either the depth of the sea or the ease of getting into  or out of the water in these areas....
In the midst of the reports of  drownings of so many children, due to accidents with the boats when they were crossing from Syria,  the flooding in Japan brought about by Typhoon Etau and the flooding in Dominica brought about by the passing of Tropical Storm Erika, this is a reminder that it is the same sea that unites us, with the lands separating us,  So perhaps we should take care of it... See links to some of the articles on the topics mentioned above.




Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Taxation 101

Having some experience in the preparation, review or printing of tax returns in various positions which I have held and having worked on the audit of a company which  had subsidiaries which operated in CARICOM countries, I pay attention to various tax matters such as Tax Amnesties, the National Budget, access to information on Tax matters such as the availability of tax returns online and so forth. So it was with glee that I discovered the website for the St Lucia's Inland Revenue was wonderfully updated and there were many similarities with respect to (wrt) the information which was available on the Trinidad site. Here are some of the areas of access:

http://www.irdstlucia.gov.lc/index.php/employers  This area deals with the concepts and applications with respect to employers and compliance. More importantly, the application of the concepts allows for a steady inflow of funds to the BIR/ Ministry of Finance on a monthly basis or as often as persons other than employees are paid ( which is my understanding of the way one of  these  concepts was applied) as outlined in the following extract from the site:

Employers may have tax obligations for employees and contractors working in their business.
These obligations may include:
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) deductions
  • Contract tax deductions
These responsibilities begin from the day the employee or contractor starts employment to the day they stop. There are also some responsibilities if the business stops being an employer altogether."

Also, my exposure and understanding of the application of withholding tax has developed over the years. It is an area where great care is to be exercised as there may be a need to consider the application of the concept dealing with withholding tax  on a transaction by transaction basis.
There is at least one case, (which was decided in the court(s)) between a joint venture  which operated in  Trinidad and Tobago and the Board of Inland Revenue which provides insight  as to the thinking of the judge(s), and the arguments put forward by the attorneys on both side. Access to that opinion  should be made available on a pay per view, as it offers so many options on the way we think and alternatives which are available.
However, in practical terms, with respect to the application of withholding tax, some of my ease of understanding of the concept came about through  dealing with a section on the Trinidad and Tobago corporation tax return which was one of the most time consuming sections to prepare on the return depending on the operating activity of the company:

SCHEDULE I GROSS PAYMENTS AND DISTRIBUTIONS (TT$ ONLY) (See Instruction No. 20)  The following categories are to be completed:
  • Total Payments 
  • Payments to Residents 
  • Payment to Non-Residents 
  • Amount of Withholding Tax deducted and paid to the Board of Inland Revenue 
  • Receipt No. and Date 
The above was extracted from the 2014 corporation tax return, and is available via the link below.  http://www.ird.gov.tt/Media/Default/IRDForms/2014/F-500CTR--2014.pdf

In addition to the above, the following  link  provides information on some  of the areas which support the concepts and deliveries of such:



Funnily enough, if you understand the concepts with respect to payments made to individuals and corporations, then it is easy to apply  the concepts to the income side of the transaction :)

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Election of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Sept 2015

Every year I am excited when September approaches for several reasons, such as:

1.   The reading of the National Budget. This activity  gives some insight into what is going to happen       over the next year, whether the focus will be on:
  • Saving incentives for persons who are heading into retirement in the next 10 years or so, (See the extract from the 2015 Budget of the Republic of Trinidad and  Tobago)_
    " 9. Pensions I propose to continue the process of facilitating the ease of living for our senior        citizens. With effect from October 1, 2014:
Registered Annuities
I propose effective January 1, 2015, to increase from $30,000 to $50,000 the limit for contributions to registered annuities. This will impact 15,000 citizens at a cost of $75.0 million"
  • Housing incentives in the form of tax savings on the purchase of a home  (See the extract from the 2015 Budget of the Republic of Trinidad and  Tobago)
"13. Housing I propose to expand the existing 2.0 percent mortgage programme by increasing qualifying property values from $625,000 to $850,000 and by increasing the combined monthly income of households from $8,000 to $10,000 and to supplement that programme by introducing a new 5.0 percent mortgage programme for households with a combined monthly income of greater than $10,000 and less than $30,000, towards accessing a mortgage greater than $850,000 but not exceeding $1.2 million; this measure will benefit 26,100 applicants within the HDC framework and a similar amount in the private sector; and I propose to increase the tax allowance from $18,000 to $25,000 per household per annum on mortgage interest paid in the year of income for first time home owners for 5 years, including those years utilised by existing beneficiaries."
  • The investment in energy efficient alternatives
Also I get a chance to stop and think about  on which activities relating to the current budget that I need to spend more time and effort so as to make the best use of the opportunities which exist.  Here is a link to the 2015 Budget of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago http://finance.gov.tt/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Budget-Statement-2015.pdf

As an individual I may think that an increase in the tax savings for pensions may be better delayed for the start of the next year, when there may be a greater reduction in personal taxation for that year if my income increases, especially if my cash flow is limited. However my knowledge of the value of time on savings may encourage me to invest today as the return on the investment may be compounded  and earn new income at the start of the next year. This will impact on the taxes which I will pay at some time in the future as well as alter the income aspect of the investment.

All of the above will also be impacted upon by the need for cash that I forsee in my short term phase.

2.  The debate of the National Budget and the opinion of the various groups, such as The Manufacturer's Association of Trinidad and Tobago. This is an area of interest as the manufacturers of the country are all keen on the various incentives. One of their areas of interest is indirect taxation which includes  Value Added Tax (VAT) the settlement of which is due and payable monthly or bimonthly. This area, has a huge impact on  the cash flows, the strategies of the companies and the planning skills of the persons who are employed with the companies.

3 The possibility of Local Government elections  being held either within the month or in another month. The excitement of this type of election comes from having a sister who is passionate about local government elections,  just as she is about Dimanche Gras (which used to take place on the Sunday night before Carnival Monday). While this type of election is conducted on a smaller scale, the results of this election adds a sense of anticipation to the country as much of the support for projects is impacted upon by the holders of the various positions and the results can have an impact on the nation.

4 The occurrence of  Divali. This celebration takes place in either October or November each year. The celebration of this festival is important to many from the view of the day on which the celebration occurs, whether there will be a three day weekend or whether it will be back to work the next day. This impacts on how long one can light and relight the deyas or how late one stays out to celebrate with friends and family.

However this year there is  an election for the House of Representatives in Parliament!  According to Wiki; "The House of Representatives is the elected Lower House of the bicameral Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. The House of Representatives sits in the Red House in Port of Spain. It has 41 members, each elected to represent single-seat constituencies." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Representatives_(Trinidad_and_Tobago). 
As a people, we have been abuzz with the activities leading up to tomorrow, either listening to the speeches, the presentation of the manifestos or attending the rallies. On a more serious note, coming out of tomorrow's election process, will be the appointment of a Prime Minister, appointments to the Senate and other appointments of a similar nature. These activities  may lead to the formation of the Cabinet comprising of persons either from the House of Representatives or the Senate.
One of the main responsibilities of members of both Houses is to review and approve drafts of Bills which will become Acts of Parliament. http://www.ttparliament.org/index.php These Acts can have a serious impact on the future as they deal with national and multinational matters. However one of the bills will  arise from the National Budget and will be enacted through amendments to the existing Acts of Parliament or via the creation of new Acts.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Things I would learn as I approach retirement

Yes, I read the articles on choices which you are making as you approach retirement and I look at all the lovely white haired, fit, smiling couples who hold hands and saunter along the beach. Here are some of the "add ons" to those articles:
  1. The  life expectancy after you retire is approximately 30 years! That is how long your income, investments and cash are expected to last!!!! I would suggest that if you can learn about financial planning via a course, then learn  about the fundamental concepts!.  If you are so inclined learn how to use a financial calculator. Better yet, if you purchase one and pay for the courses, the payments can be classed as an expense for tax purposes, depending on where you live, file your tax returns and the benefits that accrue to you!
  2. Review your cash flows.  Things may not be the same all of the time, and decisions can be effective for a certain period of time. Currently, in Trinidad and Tobago the tax benefits on savings in retirement plans is advantageous for the following reasons: (i) the amount which you can invest each year  has increased over time, ii) the age at which you can withdraw funds and thus become subject to tax becomes even more attractive at 70 years of age, (iii) the annual return can be compounded (depending on the type of product and the provider) and the annual  return is also very attractive. So that the placement of funds for 5 years  from 65 to 70 years of age allow for growth on contributions and  returns which may not be available in the other markets which exist.
  3. Consider working either in the same company or in another position for a longer period of time so as to finance the savings which are available in option #2
  4. Invest in yourself via a hobby! Gardening can be small scale or vertical! Allow yourself the opportunity to learn and make mistakes.
  5. Keep track of your expenses so that you can review the decisions which you are making over time!
  6. Open an account for your business income which is separate to your other cash flows! In Trinidad, there are no charges on money market accounts and you can have one for each type of business activity.  The minimum amount  which is required to open an account is TT$100 which can be  a reasonable saving over time. The amount of effort which you put  into managing your deposits and payments can be tracked with a spreadsheet or on a simple notebook if you are manually inclined and would like to think in a different way, or if you are on the move during the day... I have found that the width of two pages can provide sufficient thinking space for me to see things or question things when I want to sort things out.
  7. Invest in stationary! Frequently there are sales in stationary stores and having stationary changes the appearance  of how you maintain your records! This is important for tax purposes. Also the use of a new notebook can allow for reassessment of the concepts which you are currently practicing!
  8. As you grow, there are laptops and cabinets to acquire if you do not have any of these at this time!
  9. Invest in a financial plan or planner!
Here is a link  and an extract from an article which I saw, which prompted me to revisit the post and make a few changes:

"If you decide a QLAC makes sense for you, you’ll want to take many of the same precautions you would take in buying an immediate annuity, including getting quotes from several insurers, sticking to insurance companies that get high ratings (say, A+ or better) from A.M. Best or Standard & Poor’s and, for an extra measure of safety, spreading your money among two or more of those highly rated insurers. You may also want to buy into QLACs gradually rather than investing all at once to avoid the possibility of investing all your money when interest rates (and payouts) are at a low"


Rethinking My Investment Choices

Over the last few month, due to the occurrence of several events such as:
  1. My completion of the fundamental modules in the Certificate in Financial Planning Education Programme.
  2. A short time line in which I was required to assess whether I wanted to further my studies in that field of study or continue working in the industry in which I was currently employed.
I started revisiting the investment choices which I had made in the past. To appreciate the choices which I had made, I had to emotionally review my thinking at the time of making the decisions. Here is a summary of the circumstances surrounding some of my investment choices:

  1. While I was working on a contract for which I was very grateful, I realised that I needed flexibility with regard to my savings. Bearing in mind that in Trinidad, there is a capital gains tax on the disposal of investments which are held for less than a year, the shares which were purchased would have to be held for longer than a year. I could justify the  investment in the shares as continuous professional development as:
  •  I would be learning  about the practical  side of the acquisition of shares which would have been knowledge  gained at another level 
  • This knowledge would have qualified as new knowledge which was acceptable for the purpose of continuous professional development
Luckily for me the local stock  exchange was in a state of transition from a manual approach to an electronic system with online trading. I was happy to have the knowledge that I did, as I had explanations which were provided that allowed me to be satisfied as to the possible fairness of the trades, the holding of stock and to the distribution of dividends.
As to the shares which were acquired? I purchased those so as to:
  • Access the financial statements  of  certain companies as an investor and 
  • To understand the investment decisions made by  companies which operated in sectors different to that which I had limited exposure.  For example there were companies which operated under the In Aid of Industry Act, where there were benefits to the company  based on either the location of the manufacturing site or the type of equipment which was purchased. 
  • To keep up to date with the accounting policy and note disclosures of companies which had defined benefit and defined contribution plans. This was an area where there was room for much discussion.
Over time, I was able to sell many of these investments and purchase others based on the timing of the payment of dividends and capital appreciation and to place my funds in other investments. Would I invest in shares again? Yes, I would!!!
The other types of investments would come with other posts..

Saturday, 29 August 2015

MPGM - Revision Aug 2015

As you all may be aware I am reading for my MBA with Heriot Watt University – Edinburgh Business School. One of the modules which is offered to students is “ Managing People in Global Markets” Having not been successful in my first attempt at the exam, I am re-examining my approach to the subject. Thus far I am trying to:
  1.         “Learn off” some of the concepts in the chapters,
  2.          Apply my experience to the concept,
  3.          Cite from the various researchers whose work was used in the module,
  4.          Practice make up exam questions
All of the above is to ensure that the depth of my answer is sufficient to obtain a pass the next time around and I am to enjoy the process.
So here goes my attempt at # 1,2,3, 4: Chapter 10 International Joint Ventures – “starter”:
“International joint ventures (IJV)s and local joint ventures (JV’s) are one form of direct investment strategy (DIS) according to Monir  Tayeb, http://home.clara.net/mon1/MonirTayeb/ with the other type or form being foreign subsidiaries. The purpose of establishing an IJV or JV, apart from the profit motive, may be to:
  • expand product, 
  • customer or 
  • geographic reach. 
The selection of a partner is dependent on the “vision” of the strategic plan of the company which may be for a three to five year horizon at the time of entering an IJV. (Of course within some industries and companies, the  IJV may be one of the initiatives  being explored and the application of the 3-5 year horizon may be to assess the medium term results and its impact on other strategies.)

In keeping with this concept, in an IJV,  each party may offer one or more of the following:
i.            A specific skill such as  expertise and  or  knowledge of a process
ii.           Technology
iii.         A resource or 
iv.          A product

For ease of control and for legal reasons, in many instances the legal form of an IJV may be that of a limited liability company. This form allows for  limits to be set on the exposure of each party to losses and for risks to be managed within the IJV. Also the formation of a company establishes the country in which the IJV will be operating from and by whose laws the company will be bound. This concept will have important consequences on the company and individuals especially for tax purposes in light of withholding tax being liable on types of transactions as compared to the application of corporation or income tax on the company. This may be an area of interest for the Organisation of Economic Co operation and Development  (OECD) as countries are signing on to the Organisation and each one brings a history of law, treaties and case law which may have great implications for the country.

Prior to the establishment of the company (IJV) a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may have been drafted which covers major items  of discussion  and agreed terms or clauses. Given that IJVs may be established between companies which operate in or originate in different cultures and languages the MOU process  may be lengthy and may need to allow for discussion and approval, perhaps at the level of the Board of Directors. This process may be required for each clause and for the supporting concept embodied in the MOU. Also given that companies may operate in different time zones, the process of obtaining feedback and approval may take longer than if the parties to the negotiation are located in the same time zone. In the age of the internet, emails may be used to fast track this process. However that is another process which may require amendment to the law and company’s documents prior to it occurring so that the  process and authorisations may be valid and acceptable to the shareholder, investors, and other stakeholders of the company.
There is still more to come so keep reading and thank you...
© Jennifer N Bailey - Symbol obtained from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_symbol

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Becoming Web Savier

Over the years I have learnt many things over the Internet such as:

  • The joy of You Tube and the many spaces to which music can be shared
  • The many ways an article can be shared on Facebook
  • The ease of setting up email accounts

For this learning to occur, I had to set aside time and work consistently at activities. So much so that I set aside at least three hours a night one week to learn to use Facebook. Over time I learnt how to:

  • Upload albums
  • Add friends, or follow places and people of interest, get notifications
  • Post articles and or links to articles
  • Develop a public self which dealt with disclosure of interests and likes
  • Perform a bit of research and development into:
  • These areas would alllow for continuous access to information on:
    • Geographical locations where funding was taking place, 
    • Projects which were  being funded and the duration of the projects
    • Expectations and the communication of updates to the public
However until recently there were things which I longed to do, such as express my creative side in the form of creation of posters, quotes and sayings and including copyright images which I had taken over the years.
Learning this skill  and so much more became a reality when I was  exposed  to a website which provided free  access to design, layouts and much more, titled "Canva" See the following link to the site  https://www.canva.com/.

Best of all there are:
  1. Job positions. These positions highlight the company's culture such as "Every day we help users get the most out of Canva. Our goal is to bring a bit of happiness to everyone’s day by being positive, upbeat and most importantly, helpful. Our satisfaction rate hovers around 95%, and we pride ourselves on getting back to people quickly." 
  2. Geographic locations. The geographic locations provide details on either the geograhical areas where work is available or from where the positions will be filled. These are listed as either Manila or Sydney.
  3. The positioning of the company in the markets which they are servicing. This area is outlined in the position for the "Content Marketing Specialist. As part of a world-class content marketing strategy, Canva recently launched its Design School: a design blog, workshop series and teacher resource hub designed to increase the world’s visual literacy. Right now, Design School is one of the fastest growing design publications on the web."
For more information on the postings see the  link  https://about.canva.com/careers/#current-jobs . I will leave you to explore the site and its offerings as I am still learning the how to's.  Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Different Approaches to Events

Over the last few days, I have been monitoring the weather through various  Facebook posts and access to websites such as the National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/and Mora Trinidad Weather https://www.facebook.com/weathernetworktt for various reasons:
1)  There were changes in the color of the water of the Gulf of Paria. The changes were striking in their color variations. Usually the water reflects shades of light green or deep blue or there are some wide streaks of brown when rain falls and water from the nearby river flows into the sea. Over the last few days the water was extremely dark and  there were waves on the surface of the water.
2) The clouds have been  thick, with deep colors which blocked most of the light from coming down to the ground. Thus the earth did not dry up as it usually would after a period of rainfall.
3) There has been a fair amount of rain over the last week into this week. Rain falling consistently  and fairly heavily during the day, with a few stops in between. So much so, that you had to schedule your arrival and departure to take advantage of the stops in the rain which were few and far between.
4) With August being vacation time, almost everyone schedules a trip either by boat or air to Tobago or  to some other destination. Thus monitoring the weather if only to nag someone is a good past time over this period.
 Overall the above conditions would be accepted as normal. After all we are in the rainy season and it is expected that there would be a change in the weather over this period. Most of us would long for rain, so that we are cooler or  we want to plan and change the way we do things over the upcoming period.
Reading about the upcoming weather system;  trying to look into the cloud cover  on the maps to ascertain the density of the clouds; the spread of the cloud cover over the lines of longitude and latitude, the projections  of the path  of the system over 12 hours or 24 hours based on the wind speed allowed me to keep calm.
Reading online via the newspapers that the various islands which were in the projected path were publishing  updates on the system  even though the system had not reached the Caribbean and as of last night that  a Hunter aircraft  from the NOAA would be arriving in  Barbados I was calmer.
After all we were dealing with uncertainties, with estimates of the dates when the storm could become a Hurricane and the category in which it was rated  was based on the strength of and changes in the moisture in the air, with projections based on probabilities of events of the future.
This morning when I woke up to discover that there are two new systems in the  existence, I can start worrying. Worrying about those who sleep out doors for whatever reason.  Wondering how have they been dealing with rain soaked pavements and grassy areas, with cardboard boxes that may have gotten soaked through and needed to be discarded, with the possibility of rain and wind continuing to beat down or blow in on them over the next few days. We have few shelters for those who do not have permanent homes and there are even fewer persons  who will be outside to give them something to drink or eat. With the advent of a hurricane, things will be so much worse for them.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Questioning things

In my quest to develop skills that allow for growth either of myself or of some unknown person, every so often:
  • I research a topic or a word or 
  • Write on this blog or 
  • Read something that is inspirational or 
  • Look at an upload that is features cooking or
  • Search for a job and post about the opening or 
  • Listen to music. 
This morning in a bid to create a positive mood, I did most of the above. Then I decided to search for two words,  Sela and Sarai. Each word had different meanings or brought out different concepts for me either because of a long association with the word or the context in which the word was put forth at this time. 
With Sela(h) being the newer word which I was considering, I would now associate it with Bob Marley and the Wailers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O32fk57k6Z0&spfreload=10 who embodied music. Praise, when I was too young to know or understand the concept of praise and worship or charismatic in the sense of a movement within the Catholic church. These days I am more a fan of Junior Gong Marley who puts me in a dancing mood with Affairs of the Heart (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FHc3w8A_jA) or his classic Welcome to Jamrock (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlCmQcRPtRg) with my resorting to Old Bob only when I am in a case of a day with more hours to go. 
As it happens, Selah referrs to a pause in a musical composition and is found in the bible. However I will leave you to discover the possible meanings of the word, since most of the Bible was written in another language which has evolved over time and has been exposed to many thoughts and minds. http://www.gotquestions.org/selah.html.
Sarah (right) and Abraham hosting three angels (a Children's Bible illustration)
Sarai, according to old faithful Wiki, refers to the original name for Sarah  and  in Hebrew indicates a woman of high rank and is translated as "princess" or "noblewoman". The name Sarah is also associated with Ishmael and Isaac of the Bible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah

Friday, 10 July 2015

Rethinking Things

It all started when I went on vacation and I decided to become a breakfast person, in that I would make breakfast of some sort and create a ritual of having cooked items for breakfast. Now I know that is the norm in many parts of the world, where rice with a fried egg or oats with scrambled or easy over eggs form the basis of breakfast, however I was a three drinks person for breakfast.  The drinks  were  orange juice from a can, a liquid meal replacement from a pack and at least two glasses of water.  That combination at 8:00 a.m was my good to go  breakfast and I would be satisfied until 10:00 a.m. In rethinking my breakfast habit, I knew that whatever I made would  have to be easy to prepare, something that could be used in different ways and something that I could stick with. As luck would have it, I decided to search the internet for inspiration and lo and behold I came across recipes for pancakes.
I knew pancakes were easy to make, having seen others produce them weekly, however mine had to come out consistently good and be enticing enough to  have persons willing to eat them daily for a period and I had to commit to having them ready at a certain time every day. This was not an easy feat when your wake up time and mood varies with the weather in that if rain is falling, you would stay in bed for as long as possible and we were entering the rainy season so there might be many of those days in the period to come...
I decided on a Martha Stewart recipe for pancakes since I was a secret Martha Stewart fan, having looked at her many endeavours which looked effortless!  Over time  and with a few adjustments to the Martha  Stewart recipe to take account of dietary preferences, the accompanying topping and  the number of persons partaking of the meal  I have: doubled the recipe, while reducing the amount of sugar and the salt, made a change to the type of milk from an evaporated milk to an omega milk so that  there would be  other health benefits and added a flavouring ingredient, such as cinnamon almost always to the mixture.
With respect to timing and preparation, I have prepared the mixture from the night before and stored it in the fridge so that I would have an early start at any time in the day, made it on the spot for breakfast, sometimes for dinner as well and right now it has stood up to  being eaten  quite frequently for close to three months with breaks for other meals like bowls of lentil peas and pumpkin or split peas soup.
Maybe it is the cessation of the mangoes on the tree hanging over our yard or the absence of silk figs from the trees that I am open to rethinking my obsession with pancakes at this time.  Of course since I discovered a  savings plan (Golden Harvest) with a local credit union, I may be inclined to stay with the pancakes or shift my consumption to more peas and beans, after all low carb is in!!!
See the links below for the pancake recipe and for the link to some of the  Credit Unions which exist in our country.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Update on the Budget Statement of 2015 for Trinidad and Tobago

The budget statement  for 2015 which was read in Parliament on September 8, 2014 was approved by the House of  Representatives, the Senate and  "assented to"  in January 2015. While there was the expectation that the Statement would become law, mainly due to the focus on savings and tax compliance which were proposed, we were all happy that the approvals did materialise. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  1. The Tax amnesty allowed for  persons who earned income and who are reaching towards pensionable age, to file returns and bring their tax matters up to date. 
  2. There were increases in personal allowances for persons who have attained the age of 60 from $60,000 to $72,000. This translates into a benefit of $12,000 per annum per individual. For a couple, the savings of $24,000 may be quite useful as they now have  a tax savings of  $6,000 available to spend... Here is the extract from  the Budget Statement and the link to the document..:"the personal allowances for individuals aged 60 and over will be increased from $60,000 to $72,000 for the calculation of individual taxes;" http://finance.gov.tt/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Budget-Statement-2015.pdf
  3. There were increases in allowances relating to contributions to pensions and other tax incentive plans from $30,000 to $50,000 per annum. This translates into $5,000 in tax savings ( 20000*25%). For persons who may have opted to receive pensions early in life such as age 55, 60 or 65, they can open  tax incentive plans which will allow them to defer taxes which arise on their taxable income including their pensions, and draw from these plans at 70. The deferral in tax and the returns will be of benefit to persons in this age group as some of the returns on  these plans are becoming more attractive than they were four to five years ago... Thus the possible income for some of these persons at the age of 70 has become quite favourable. Of course they still need to work, earn an income on a competitive basis as most of them may not  be in a large pensionable income bracket....... So in the  event that you do not believe me, here is an extract from the budget statement and the link to the document: " Registered Annuities I propose effective January 1, 2015, to increase from $30,000 to $50,000 the limit for contributions to registered annuities. This will impact 15,000 citizens at a cost of $75.0 million." http://finance.gov.tt/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Budget-Statement-2015.pdf
  4. Here is the link to the Act of Parliament. Given that my knowledge and application of Acts of Parliament is fairly limited, I usually search for a key phrase to quickly access the relevant section. This is mainly because this Act is one of the oldest pieces of legislation and to amend it, the  Bill  which is to being proposed, states the changes which are to be made to the relevant section of the existing Act.. For example the above changes will be made to "PART XVIII INCOME TAX",  with the key phrases being thirty and fifty... ( referring to thousands and the changes in the allowances.  See the link to the ACT of Parliament, which is also available online.  http://www.ttparliament.org/legislations/a2015-02.pdf
In conclusion, I am excited about these changes as when I combine the concepts embodied in my Certificate in Financial Planning Class, such as the Time Value of Money, I will be inclined to contribute to my plans early in the year to allow for an increase in return, and it is unlikely that these allowances will be reversed in the forseeable future. While I may experience difficulty in saving $50,000 and placing it in one area which I will not have access to for some time, I can be consoled in saving some more in another area which I can draw from to invest in my pension plans even earlier next year.