Charitable Groups Get Extension of Amnesty to File Outstanding Returns


The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) has announced an extension of its amnesty to February, 2010, to allow all charitable groups to file outstanding returns at reduced costs.
Charitable groups include churches, charitable organisations, service clubs, professional associations, community-based organisations and other such groups, which are registered under the Companies Act as companies limited by guarantee without a share capital.
Speaking with JIS News, Chief Executive Officer of the COJ, Ms. Judith Ramlogan, noted that another three months have been added to the amnesty period, which was originally slated for September 1 to November 30.
She explained that the COJ saw it necessary to extend the amnesty, based on the low turnout over the three-month period and the numerous requests from charitable groups to be given more time to complete their outstanding documents.
“The response was not as we would have liked it to be…there are close to 3,000 charitable groups that are registered and only 259 filed outstanding documents,” the CEO pointed out.
Outstanding documents refer to Annual Returns, Income and Expenditure statements, Change of Directors, Change of Address, Appointment of Secretary and Statutory Declaration.
Highlighting the benefits that the amnesty provides, the CEO said that during the period, charitable groups would be able to file outstanding documents at reduced fees of between 50 and 75 per cent.
Charitable groups will therefore enjoy savings of $2,500 if annual returns are filed during the stipulated period, as the current fee of $4,000 has been reduced to $1,500. The filing of income and expenditure statements, which is another important requirement, has been reduced from $2,000 to $1,000.
Additionally, the fee for Change of Directors will be $1,000, down from $2,000; so too the cost for the Change of Address. The charge for the Appointment of Secretary has also been reduced from $2,000 to $1,500; Statutory Declaration is $500, down from $2,000; while Late Submissions, which usually attracts a fee of $1,000, will be free of cost for the amnesty period.
In addition to the reduction in fees, the COJ has also made special arrangements for persons who will be doing amnesty transactions.
Amnesty transactions are being conducted Mondays to Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 12 noon at the COJ’s head office at 1 Grenada Way, in New Kingston. Persons who need assistance in completing their documents will be accommodated on Fridays.
A drop-off box is available for deposits outside of these hours, and there is a designated waiting area for customers with amnesty transactions.

JIS Social