While the oil and gas industry makes up approximately 40% of GDP and 80% of exports for Trinidad and Tobago, the industry takes up a surprisingly small percentage of the workforce, at 5%. Even though the islands are stunning and have everything needed to make them key holiday destinations, tourism currently takes a back seat to the oil and gas industry. So while this sector is still young, it is also likely to grow.
Due to Trinidad and Tobago’s rich natural resources, this nation is one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean. In fact, the country is listed within the top 70 highest income countries in the world and is no longer listed as a developing country. The growth of the economy has been fuelled by investment in the oil and gas, petrochemicals, steel and aluminum industries, and the country is regarded as a safe and easy place to invest. Manufacturing and export of agricultural products, including the Caribbean stalwarts of cereals, sugar, cocoa and coffee, also plays a role.
There is a constant demand for quite specialist roles within the energy sector, making Trinidad and Tobago a great option for expats with the right credentials. With a steady increase in yearly visitors, and such beautiful surroundings, it seems inevitable that the tourism industry will expand soon, which will also create more jobs.
Expats job hunting in Trinidad and Tobago would do well to approach specific companies with a targeted CV and covering letter laying out their skills. Jobs are advertised on the National Employment Service website, as well as some independent websites, so it is worth taking the time to have a look online.
Individuals working in Trinidad and Tobago have to pay income tax and a health surcharge on any income that is deemed to have been earned within the country. In order to do this, they must apply for a BIR number. This is required whether they are employed or self-employed, but only self-employed people will file their own tax return at the end of the financial year, potentially taking into account tax-deductible expenses.
All taxpayers, whether employed or self-employed, are entitled to a personal allowance. This figure is set at 60,000 TTD per annum, so anyone earning less than this amount avoids paying income tax at all. There is no specific capital gains tax, as this is treated as income, and there is also no inheritance tax. Income that is deemed to have been earned outside of the country is likely to be exempt by paying tax in the country where it was earned.