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Story Highlights

  • The Omnibus Tax Incentive Legislation will now be tabled in October.
  • The Omnibus Tax Incentive Bill is a key element in fulfilling the IMF agreement.
  • The delay will not impact the expected timeline for effectiveness of the legislation.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has informed that the Omnibus Tax Incentive Legislation will now be tabled in October, as against the end of September as was previously announced.

The Omnibus Tax Incentive Bill, which is a key element in fulfilling the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, aims to establish a transparent and coherent regime to govern all tax incentives. The Act will also eliminate ministerial discretionary powers to grant tax relief.

Dr. Phillips, who made the disclosure during a statement to the House of Representatives on September 24, said the decision was made following post-mission discussions involving the Government of Jamaica, the IMF mission staff and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

“As a result of these post-mission discussions, the technical negotiating team of the Government of Jamaica and the IMF/IDB missions arrived at a staff-level agreement on critical outstanding issues on the design of tax reform,” he informed.

Dr. Phillips said it was recognised that the finalisation of tax incentive proposals, along the lines mutually agreed, would require additional analytical work.

In light of these additional requirements, the GOJ and IMF mission staff reached a staff-level understanding that meeting the September 2013 deadline for the tabling of relevant tax incentive reform legislation would not be possible or advisable, the Finance Minister s aid.

Dr. Phillips emphasised that the delay will not impact the expected timeline for effectiveness of the legislation.

“The Government of Jamaica has been assured by the IMF staff that this revised process will not delay the scheduled Board meetings to discuss the completion of the first review, and we are confident that this review will be completed,” he said.

Dr. Phillips said the Government is re-assured in this position by the fact that the staff of the IMF has circulated the relevant documentation in accordance with the agreed schedule.

“We expect the Fund staff to make a statement this afternoon (September 24) regarding the circulation of the documentation,” he said.

Mr. Phillips pointed out that the macroeconomic and structural reform   programme of the GOJ remains on track.

“We are confident about the performance of the targets for September 30, 2013, which will be the subject of the review by the IMF Board in December 2013,” he explained.