An Exchange of Information (EOI) Office is soon to be established in Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), to facilitate the receipt and sharing of tax information across international borders.
As a precursor to this development, an exchange of information workshop is now underway at the TAJ's offices in Kingston.
According to a TAJ brief, the exchange of information is critical in ensuring that the Government, through the Tax Administration, receives and shares information in order to enable the country to “operate more meaningfully in a global tax village."
The office should also serve to reinforce the efficacy of the measures that will flow from the Tax Reform effort now underway.
TAJ explains that the Government of Jamaica is “committed to embracing modern tools and techniques, which have been used successfully in other jurisdictions."
“Through the efforts of the Inter-American Centre for Tax Administration (CIAT), we are able to access assistance to examine (international) best practises in establishing an Exchange of Information (EOI) Office in Jamaica,” the brief notes.
According to the TAJ brief, the introduction of a structured EOI within Jamaica’s Tax Administration will allow the country to benefit from, “getting information from other tax jurisdictions on income earned by our residents overseas. Likewise, Jamaica will be able to reciprocate to provide our tax partners with information on their residents earning income in Jamaica. This will be done within the requisite Double Taxation Agreements and Tax Information Exchange Agreements."
The strategy of Exchange of Information is successfully used in other tax jurisdictions.
“Establishing an Exchange of Information Office will bring order to the untenable situation, which in the past saw requests for information from other countries not being dealt with in the most efficient manner,” the TAJ said.
The agency added that Jamaica’s tax authorities have not been able to take full advantage of getting information from other countries.
“The establishment of the EOI Office in Jamaica will allow us to determine a truer picture of the tax liabilities of specific taxpayers. This approach will allow a better use of limited resources, while allowing greater revenue protection,” the TAJ said.
Expert instructors for the ongoing workshop have been drawn from the Global Forum; the US Internal Revenue Service; the Italian Tax Authority and the World Bank.
By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter