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Trinidad and Tobago Carnival remains by far the largest generator of revenue within the entertainment sector. Carnival also has an important export element, for outside of the local carnival season, masquerade bands, soca musicians and sundry support-service providers work overseas at the various carnivals held in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, to name a few.
The Trinidad and Tobago Government offers incentives for investment activities in the country’s entertainment sector, as indicated by the following:
Under the Corporate Tax Act’s Art and Culture Allowance, companies can obtain a 150% tax rebate on expenditures in respect of an artistic work up to a maximum of TT$1,000,000.
The entertainment industry benefits from the Tourism Development Act via tax incentives, e.g. tax exemptions not exceeding seven years for gains and profits of the project; tax exemptions in respect of interest received on an approved loan used for a tourism project that will have international tourism appeal and which will showcase the culture, heritage and artistic product of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Customs and Excise Act allows for importation of entertainment equipment including musical instruments, electronic items and other apparatus free of customs and excise duties as long as they are not manufactured in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Foreign Investment Act allows a foreign investor to purchase land up to one acre for residential purposes and five acres for commercial use. In addition, foreign investors are allowed to purchase up to 30% of the cumulative shareholding in a public company. The Trinidad and Tobago Government is currently developing sector specific incentives for the services industries, including film, music and entertainment.