Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Update on "Venezuela" posted in Wikipedia Encyclopedia

In light of changes in the international economy such as oil and gas prices, oil production, changes in holdings of reserves and such, I provided an update on one part of "Venezuela " in Wikipedia Encyclopedia which I am posting below:

"International relations and relationships

Trinidad and Tobago

To the people of Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela has been a neighbor initially because of the geographical location of the two countries, however over time the geographical and human resources of both countries have allowed for changes in the relationship. Also both countries have had a longstanding diplomatic relationship whereby an embassy was established as far back as 1987 if not earlier.

One of the articles of The Double Taxation Relief (Venezuela)Order 1999 - (Legal Notice #348 of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) allowed for the protection for the fiscal privileges of diplomatic agents or consular officers.  The Double Taxation Relief (Venezuela) Order 1999 was issued in the English and Spanish languages with each version being equally authentic. Attached to the Convention was a Protocol, both of which (Convention and Protocol) were done on 31st day of July 1996, and both of which were signed by Ralph Maraj for the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and by Angel Burelli Rivas for the Government of the Republic of Venezuela. The Protocol included the following details "M Look Loy Acting Secretary to Cabinet on 30th day of December 1997".

The purpose of the Protocol was for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion and Avoidance with respect to taxes in income and for the Encouragement of International Trade and Investment and included four (4) clauses which "shall be an integral part of the Convention."

The Venezuelan embassy which is located on Victoria Avenue in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, is in close proximity to the offices of BP, REPSOL and some of the other O&G companies which operate in Trinidad and Tobago. The modest building and teams have served as a reminder of who the people of Venezuela are to the visitors to the country of Trinidad and Tobago.

Information on the country of Venezuela was sought by many a student and school teacher who needed to boost their knowledge of the culture and the language of Spain and Venezuela in preparation for examinations at the Ordinary Level of GCE and currently CXC."

Click on the link  to read the information on Wikipedia

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Originally posted on Facebook on Nov, 29, 2016 - Changing of Our Archbishops

"A few years ago, (Sept 2011) when we "changed" Archbishops, ( our outgoing Archbishop was American, formerly of the Redemptorist Order, who had some Caribbean experience, while our incoming Archbishop was a Trinbagonian (T&T national) from the Spiritan or Holy Ghost order, who had experience as a missionary in South America., there was a short period of transition. This period provided a bit of learning for those of us who worked in departments of the Archdiocese of POS, some of which were housed internally or externally to the Maraval Road building which housed the Archbishop of POS.

One of the important changes was the signing authorities which the new Archbishop had to undertake. Imagine the "impact" on banking relationships in a little country like ours.... (tongue in cheek :))

In light of the "changes" which were made, I wonder which one is more worrisome, when a new Archbishop is appointed or when a new Financial Controller is appointed at The Chancery?

Jennifer N Bailey worked as the Accountant at CREDI (Catholic Religious Education Development Institute) from July 2011 to April 2015.


Sunday, 27 November 2016

Originally posted on Facebook - Financial Planning Tip November 20, 2016 - 001 Fourth Quarter Taxes 2016 (T&T) - Holidays in Dec 2016 and the Due dates for Payment of Dec 31, 2016..

Fourth Quarter Taxes 2016 (T&T) - Holidays in Dec 2016 and the Due dates for Payment of Dec 31, 2016.

This year, 2016 due to Dec 31 occurring on a Saturday and the two public holidays of Christmas and Boxing Day being available on the Monday and Tuesday of the last week in the month of December 2016, there is a shorter period in which to work and calculate taxes which may be due and payable in December 2016.

This information becomes important when your calculations are still being worked out in December, signatures to the bank accounts and thus the cheques are to be obtained and persons wish to go on holiday.

Thus, I would suggest that you:

i) Calculate your VAT which may become payable on December 25, 2016 as early as possible as in this instance the 25 day period after the close of the reporting period may not exist in a way which is beneficial to you

ii) Calculate your figures for Green Fund Levy and Business Levy on the figures which are available at the end of each month

iii) Corporation Tax amounts may be known to you at this time as you may have prepared calculations for the first three quarters of 2016 already.

In this instance where there are so many demands on cash which is available as persons stock up with supplies to meet expected demand, I would write my cheques for the known payments as early as possible so as to meet the commitments which are known. 

Also I would leave it up to you to consider your strategy for calculating the taxes on the Dec 2016's figures in light of expectations as to income/ receipts for December 2016.

Consult the BIR for advice in writing for this one....

Remember the BIR may be closing early on the last working day of the year which is Dec 30 ( a Friday), so notices in the newspapers may be an important source of information...

Christmas Planning Tip November 25, 2016 - Tradition versus Cash Flows

One of our traditions has been to make punch a creme with a local rum and make it close to Christmas either when the ham is being baked or when the house has been thoroughly cleaned and the tree is being put up...

This year my mom & I made half of the usual batch of punch a creme using most of a bottle of imported duty free rum which has been in storage for several years (waiting to be tried out) and the Christmas tree is up, decorated and lit.

The house is still being cleaned room by room and I have spent less than what I would have spent in the past...

At this time, there is no question of should we buy a new tree or more decorations and every night I am enjoying the lit tree.

When December reaches, I would be in a state of much more calm, peace and hopefully joyous....

Have a happy, holy and joyous Christmas everyone.... Advent will soon be here...

Originally posted on Facebook - Personal Planning Tip November 27, 2016 - 001

At one time in my life my personal planning worked in two ways, financial and strategic.

The financial planning revolved around:
  • Letting my money work for me in an environment where interest rates were to the benefit of the saver;
  • Making as few trips as possible to the bank;
  • Transferring funds to my savings accounts as early as possible and
  • Taking advantage of tax savings.
My strategic planning was based on:
  • Cooking as many meals... or eating as many home cooked meals as possible;
  • Buying from supermarkets to reduce the use of cash during the week
  • Unless those funds came out of my daily allowance which included taxi fares, all of which were taken from my salary;
  • Spending mini vacations locally and with a group so as to reduce the cost of rent, food and have family time and most importantly
  • Going home by 6:00 pm during the week and by five pm on a Fri, so as to treat Fri night into Sat am as my Sabbath if I planned to work on a Sat.
Sun was for washing, cooking, baking, sleeping as at that time I lived in an extended family and those were some of the ways to be considerate of others.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Originally posted on Facebook ~ Financial Planning Tip Nov 17, 2015 - 002 Easy Money!

I've been trying to grow ginger, garlic (sprouts) and tumeric on a small scale.

At this time, I am considering transplanting the plants into the ground so that they can spread.....  To reap any benefit from this, may take months and I may end up using the harvest in the home.

On the other hand, I can try to get the plants to sprout, sell them  to be used as gifts or use them on my desk as advertising.

However, these choices may mean record and book keeping, another set of learning and a skill which is portable, being developed.....

However due to my lack of certification in this area, I may not be able to list it on my application for a Certificate from the Caricom Single Market Economy.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Originally posted on Facebook -Financial Planning Tip - November 5, 2015 -001 - Green Fund Levy and Business Levy - 4th Quarter Payments for 2015.

The 4th quarter payments for Business Levy and Green Fund Levy are due on December 31, 2015 ( Old Years Day.. In 2016 Dec 31, falls on a Sat. and most persons expect to go home early on the Friday :)). This year, this day precedes a public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago and also the date occurs (falls) on a Thursday..

To deal with cash flows and persons wanting to enjoy the holidays which occur in the week before the due date for the payments, may I suggest that the calculations for the receipts and payments for October 2015 be prepared and the funds set aside. For the financially brave, they may prepare a cheque for the amount and the payment description slip also. :)

In the last week of November 2015 perhaps a draft of the calculations can be prepared and again a cheque and a payment description slip can be prepared in the first week of December 2015, when your figures are accurate.

With respect to the calculations for December 2015, here are some of the factors which may impact on your receipts and your potential liability:
  • Dividends declared and paid in the last quarter,
  • Interest on bonds which have not been accounted for in the previous quarter or which are due in this quarter,
  • Interest earned on a bank account for the quarter,
  • Other Income,
  • Trade Income. ~With respect to the Trade income. Given that in most months, depending on the industry to which the good or service belongs there are various challenges, for example retailers of goods have their challenges with sales of appliances prior to Christmas, groceries and supermarkets have their challenges with the sales before Christmas and for the New Year, their extended working hours, service suppliers may be able to budget the value of the services which they will deliver to some extent. If things are not " visible" perhaps you can seek additional assistance from someone who may be willing to spend time stating some assumptions, setting up spreadsheets with formula, all of which can be discussed prior to the end of November 2015 or in the first week of December 2015.
The cost of an enjoyable Christmas may be that extra assistance which may be provided by either a Tax Planner or a lawyer or by an accounting outsourcing company!

Search the net for one...  If you think that there have been changes in your company in this year that you would like to discuss with someone who may be qualified to provide the advice in writing and which you can use, now may be the time to get things right!

Next year things will change and there will be Quarter 1 2016 taxes which will be due in March, 2016 and final payments for Year of Income 2015 which will become due on April 30, 2016 unless there is an extension in the due date for payments!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Rethinking your Assumptions in Changing Times

Many time there are changes going on around us:

  • Either it is that new piece of equipment that was brought in, which may make things easier or
  • It may be that the end of the financial year is coming up and those higher up are starting to look at all the pieces which have not been sold  or
  •  Elections  in the USA and locally are upcoming and there are so many changes which may arise.
Over all there may be a subtle change in the air...

One way that persons deal with all of these types of uncertainty is to keep their costs down... Many persons think that one of the best ways to keep their costs down means

  • Reducing the number of persons who are on the payroll or
  • Asking persons to take on contract work...
After all there are so many savings to persons who can work from home and so forth.

However sometimes in the middle of things persons get ill and just cannot come out to work and after you have convinced so many persons to work from home how do you manage during those periods?

And if you are looking at what may be your busy season for the next six months or so, when unfortunately it gets dark earlier and dawn seems to come later and there are statutory deadlines then

  • Increasing the number or persons on the payroll while asking them if they are willing to work less hours  per day may make a difference in the service which you provide...

Now I know that this strategy may not work for everyone and I have not worked through the maths at all of the levels, however  the following may be an option where persons may not want to work late or early and  there may be some who may prefer to have time away from work during the next six months:

The National Insurance Rates for persons who work for TT$600 per week or  for persons who work for 7.5 hours for 5 days at TT$16.00 is TT$23.30 per person, with the employer contributing TT$46.60 per person. Over a four week period for that one employee, the employer contributes close to TT$200.00.   See the attached link for the rates which apply to many of the salary bands.

Now I know that everyone may be asking, what can I do with TT$2,400 per month when the personal allowance to which I am entitled is TT$6,000...  However, if earning $2,400 per month means that there are three of us who will work each day, then I will be helping someone else earn an income and possibly receive a pension at the end of their work life.....

Also it means that I will be able to go home at the end of 7.5 hours for each of 5 days or after 6.25 hours for 6 days and get some me time while someone else is working and I would not lose any major skills or knowledge.

However in the interim:

  • I can enroll in a course through YTEPP or through one of the other institutions or
  • I can get a second job which may contribute some other income, skills and exposure  to  knowledge, people and places....
One of the important things in times like these is to acknowledge that:

  • Learning  will take place during these times,
  • When I elect to work with persons and in public places, I am contributing to the continuity of institutions such as the National Insurance Company which will provide for the future and which includes me,
  • I am attempting to secure my lifestyle through the work that I do and through the contributions which I make,
  • I will be tax compliant by asking for statutory deductions to be made from my pay. This will reduce the work which I am putting in to be compliant, leaving me with more time to earn an income.... Should the system of taxation change to one where 25% of the Income Tax is deducted from payments to contractors, then I may have to wait a full year to obtain my refund, which will not be in my interest in any form.
However I will try to keep two jobs which are:
  • Not of the same type, i.e. position or type of work
  • Nor in the same industry,
  • Nor with competitors
That way I am maintaining some type of integrity and earing a bit more income with a clear conscience.

copyright Jennifer N Bailey email:

Achieving Financial Goals 101

Before there was Facebook, I was a careful, conscientious saver, so much so that I saved for ten months in the year to achieve my financial goals... In the next two months of the year, I spent the funds I would have put aside for savings.. 

In that way, I contributed as early as possible to my TAX Incentive Plans, my special funds which were to take care of my goals at that time...

These funds all came in handy when the goals did not materialize and life took another path.... 

I may  not have retained the funds, however the knowledge and application of the concepts are still with me to be used for another day and time...

 copyright Jennifer N Bailey ~ email:

Originally posted on Facebook -Financial Planning Tip November 3, 2015 - 001 Have a splurge fund!

For many persons with all of their planned saving strategies and uses for funds, they may not realise that setting aside funds for fun or for a splurge can become an income generator or money maker!

So, while you are employed, decide how many times of the year you can set aside a little something, be it:
  • in the month when there are four Mondays and after your National Insurance contributions, your pay check is a little bigger or
  • once every quarter if at this time you cannot see yourself sacrificing funds from your goals so frequently as almost every month! 
Either way, decide on an amount and place these funds in a separate account or in an envelope, pray about it for those who need courage and wisdom and decide on the splurge activity!

Will it be used for:
  • A mini ice cream maker to make ice cream for parties or
  • The shop down the road or
  • When your child has "bring a dish" for the school's Christmas party or
  • An extra half yard of fabric from a quilt "recipe" to allow for a creation in time for Christmas or Mother's day or for a raffle?
Any and all of these can become a money maker given time and practice! The question is "are you willing to create another account or to do list or to try something new"