JIS News

The Government wishes to make it clear that there will be no retroactivity in the application of the General Consumption Tax (GCT) on electricity.
A statement from the Ministry of Finance notes that there was never any intention to apply the special GCT rate of 10% to bills issued in January, since the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo) bills its customers one month after consumption has taken place.
January billings will therefore relate to December consumption to which no GCT will be applied. The JPSCo has maintained that it will require 60 days for its computerised billing system to be reconfigured to collect GCT and this will be reflected in bills issued after March 1. These will therefore apply to consumption in February.
As was stated by the Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, the Government was aware of the challenges to JPSCo’s billing systems, prior to the announcement of the special GCT rate. Initial contact was also made with JPSCo by the Ministry of Finance and subsequently a meeting was held with the Head of the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), Zia Mian, who confirmed the need for additional time for the JPSCo to change its computer billing programme.
The Government wishes to restate that 78% of JPSCo residential customers will not be required to pay GCT, since their consumption level is below 200 kilowatt hours per month. Most businesses that will now be charged GCT on electricity, will be allowed to claim it back in their GCT returns as per the provisions of the GCT Act. As it relates to input and output, tax and exemptions will apply.

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