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Story Highlights

  • The Omnibus legislation seeks to establish a transparent and coherent regime to govern all tax incentives.
  • The Bills passed are the Fiscal Incentives (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act; and the Income Tax Relief (Large Scale Projects and Pioneer Industries) Act 2013.
  • The Omnibus legislation represents the most far reaching set of revisions of Jamaica’s tax incentive systems that have been undertaken since Independence.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 19, passed the Omnibus legislation, which seeks to establish a transparent and coherent regime to govern all tax incentives.

The Bills passed are the Fiscal Incentives (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act; and the Income Tax Relief (Large Scale Projects and Pioneer Industries) Act 2013.

The Fiscal Incentives (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 sets out the reforms to be carried out to corporate tax including the introduction of an Employment Tax Credit (ETC), changes to the capital allowance regime, and revision of provisions governing the utilisation of tax losses.

The Bill also deals with “grandfathering” and transitional arrangements relating to change from the old to the new incentives regime.

In terms of the Income Tax Relief (Large-scale Projects and Pioneer Industries) Act, it sets out provision for the designation of large scale projects and pioneer industries that would qualify for tax credit under the Income Tax Act.

Other elements of the framework for the new Omnibus Incentive Regime namely the (Customs Tariff (Revision) (Amendment) Resolution 2013 and Stamp Duty (Amendments of Schedule) Order 2013, were approved.

In his remarks, Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, noted that the Omnibus legislation represents the most far reaching set of revisions of Jamaica’s tax incentive systems that have been undertaken since Independence.

“The principal objective behind this current tax incentive reform package is the view that a comprehensive reform of Jamaica’s many tax incentive regimes requires implementation of a more accessible, broad based competitive tax regime, which can act both as a catalyst for investment and economic growth and which applies across all economic sectors,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, said the series of legislation are generally supported by the Opposition.

“The legislation seeks to simplify, correct distortions and level the playing field for the economy, as it relates to the economy,” he said.

“The one that I particularly like, and I think will help as an incentive for new investment, is the new system of employment tax credit. I think that is something that will help to spur economic growth,” Mr. Holness added.

The passage of the legislations meet an important structural benchmark agreed with the International Monetary Fund.  The Bills will now be sent to the Senate for its approval.