JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The winner in this year’s local leg of the Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators (COTA) essay competition has recommended that Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) create a mobile app.
  • The local leg of the competition, spearheaded by the TAJ, had essays exploring the theme ‘Digitisation – Moving beyond the 21st century’.
  • The winner and second-place entrant came from Immaculate Conception High School, while third-place went to Westwood High. They will go on to the regional competition later this month.

The winner in this year’s local leg of the Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators (COTA) essay competition has recommended that Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) create a mobile app.

The local leg of the competition, spearheaded by the TAJ, had essays exploring the theme ‘Digitisation – Moving beyond the 21st century’.

The winner and second-place entrant came from Immaculate Conception High School, while third-place went to Westwood High. They will go on to the regional competition later this month.

First-place winner of the local leg of the competition, Jaidah-Leigh Wyatt, has received the Commissioner General’s trophy, while the second- and third-place entrants, Candice Garwood and Markiesh Francis, have won TAJ trophies.

Immaculate Conception High School students, Gabrielle Hoo (left) and Candice Garwood (centre) along with Westwood High School student, Markeish Francis, with the first-, second- and third-place trophies for the Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators essay competition, at the awards ceremony for the local leg, held at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Auditorium in Kingston, on July 3. Miss Hoo collected the trophy for winner, Jaidah-Leigh Wyatt.

The awards ceremony was held at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Auditorium in Kingston on Wednesday, July 3.

Communications Officer at TAJ, Leighton Beckles, told JIS News that the agency is taking major steps to use technology to make it more convenient for their customers, with their latest initiative, the creation of a mobile application, in partnership with e-Gov Jamaica Ltd.

He said that with implementation of the app, the TAJ wants to have property tax and motor vehicle registration fees as part of the offerings, explaining that “we want to make it easier for Jamaicans to pay their fair share”.

In relation to the winning essay recommending an app, Mr. Beckles said that “the TAJ’s app has been in the works for some time now, but we are absolutely elated [with the recommendation], because it speaks to the fact that we are getting it right, as we continue to take a look at our stakeholders, our Millennials and our young people”.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner General at TAJ, Hank Williams, said the TAJ has embraced technology by implementing the Revenue Administration Information System in 2014, which allows persons to pay all major taxes online, adding that over the last five years, the TAJ has seen an uptake in revenue as well as customer confidence.

This year’s COTA essay competition is the sixth to be held, with Jamaica winning the top prize at the first staging, and then placing second in 2014.

The TAJ is required to submit the three best essays to the CARICOM Secretariat. The names of regional winners will be published by the Secretariat, and the top-three schools will receive US$1,000, US$700 and US$500 at the COTA annual conference later this month.