JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Work by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), and Jamaica Customs to improve the business environment should advance significantly this year.
  • An additional $65 million has been earmarked in the 2014/15 Estimates of Expenditure to complete the work in this area.
  • The project has provided Jamaica Customs with support and assistance to conduct a post-clearance audit for targeted imports.

Work by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), and Jamaica Customs to improve the business environment in order to help facilitate economic growth, should advance significantly this year.

This, as an additional $65 million has been earmarked in the 2014/15 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, to complete the work in this area.

The undertaking, which is jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica (GoJ), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to improve Jamaica’s tax administration system; facilitate micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises with credit access; and ensure policy, regulatory, and legislative changes, conducive to economic growth, and the attendant necessary reforms.

The project, which initially ran from March 2010 to August 2013, has, thus far, provided Jamaica Customs with support and assistance to conduct a post-clearance audit for targeted imports within the petroleum sector; and prepare a database for use in identifying risk arrears, non-compliance, and fraud within the sector, and develop a risk management policy. It has also yielded a revised operational framework for petroleum monitoring.

Other activities undertaken include: development of a prioritisation system for debt arrears collection; and an annual debt management plan.

Anticipated targets for 2014/15, include: continued support for Tax Administration reform, and implementation of the risk management system and development of annual debt collection and audit plans; continued public/private stakeholders dialogue to encourage ongoing and new reform efforts; continued strengthening of TAJ to implement, review, and enhance a risk management system for identifying and prioritizing tax debt arrears for collection, as well as providing the agency with support to conduct targeted audits in priority sectors.

The project was extended for 12 months and is scheduled for completion in August this year.