Finance Ministry Reopens Tax Policy Division, Police Probe Continues


The Taxation Policy Division of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, which was closed last Wednesday (April 7), to facilitate Police investigations into the issue of waivers and concessionary letters, reopened Monday (April 12).
Opening the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday
(April 8), Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, noted that, increasingly, corruption is being discovered in several areas of Taxation and Customs. However, he said that strong measures were being put in place to address the crisis.
“The Revenue Protection Division (RPD) will be strengthened and enlarged to detect and prosecute tax officials, as well as their co-conspirators in the private sector, who cross the line,” Mr. Shaw said.
On Wednesday (April 7), the Ministry issued the following release:”The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service wishes to advise its stakeholders and the general public that due to an on-going police investigation on matters dealing with the issuing of waivers and concessionary letters, the Taxation Policy Division has been temporarily closed until Monday, April 12, 2010.
“The Ministry regrets and apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the temporary suspension of waivers and concession letters and asks for your patience as we resolve this matter.”
The Ministry issued the following release Monday (April 12) on the reopening for business of the Taxation Policy Division:
“The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service wishes to advise the public that the Taxation Policy Division has reopened for business on a phased basis.
“Due to constraints arising from the ongoing investigations with regards to the issuing of waivers and concessions, applicants will experience some delays in the processing of applications. In the interim, persons may contact the Ministry with regards to the status of their application via telephone (876) 932-4793/4 and email cheryl.smith@mof.gov.jm.
“Applicants should be aware that payment of full duties and taxes on goods and services is an avenue that remains open. If a waiver is approved subsequently, then the duties will be refunded in part or in full. Please be aware that there are no guarantees that all such requests for waivers will be approved.
“With respect to the 20 per cent Duty Concessions, the processing time will go beyond the normal seven working days.
“The Ministry regrets and apologises for the inconveniences caused and asks for your patience as we try to restore normality to operations as soon as possible.

JIS Social