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The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) is urging charitable groups to file outstanding documents to ensure compliance with the Companies Act and to prevent their businesses from being removed from the register.
“The issue of removal has serious implications for these companies,” said Business Registration Manager at the COJ, Camille Neil.
She noted that most of these companies “have assets whether land, building, a vehicle, which is in the company’s name and once the company is removed from the register, the company no longer holds these assets.”
Miss Neil, who was addressing a recent JIS Think Tank at the agency’s Kingston headquarters, explained that when companies are removed from the COJ’s register, ownership of the assets is held by the Government on trust for 20 years, during which time, the company may make an application to be restored to the register.
The COJ is currently offering a special three-month amnesty to allow charitable groups to file outstanding documents at reduced fees of between 50 and 75 per cent.
The amnesty, which is being offered for the period September 1 to November 30, applies to groups and entities such as churches, charities, service clubs, non-profit organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and professional associations.
Outstanding documents refer to annual returns, income and expenditure statements, Change of Directors , Change of Address, Appointment of Secretary and Statutory Declaration.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the COJ, Judith Ramlogan, stressed the need for the various groups to take advantage of the amnesty.
She informed that during the three-month period, amnesty transactions will be conducted Mondays to Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and noon at the COJ head office at 1 Grenada Way in New Kingston.
A drop-off box is available for deposits outside of these hours and special arrangements have been put in place such as a designated waiting area for customers with amnesty transactions.
For further details on the amnesty for charities, call the COJ at 908-4419-24 or email: amnesty2009@orcjamaica.com.

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