March 15 is Deadline for Filing Income Tax Returns


The Tax Administration Department is reminding all companies, organisations, self-employed persons, and employees with other sources of income, that March 15 is the due date to file income tax returns. Business persons are being urged to use days preceeding that date to prepare their Final Income Tax Return for 2008 and a Declaration of Estimated Income and Tax Payable for 2009, and to file and make tax payments by March 15.
The Department in support of this exercise, particularly to small business operators, has been hosting its annual Special Taxpayer Service Programme, which will help business owners file their income tax returns. The programme got underway on February 2.
As was done in past years, special service points will be set up at collectorates and other locations across the island. Taxpayers are also being advised that they can pick up their relevant income tax return forms and schedules at any of the 29 collectorates island wide, or download them from the Department’s website.
Anyone operating a business or who receives income, which has not been taxed at source, is required under the Income Tax Act to file an income tax return on or before March 15 each year. The categories of persons include:
. Self-Employed persons (including partners) . Employed persons with other sources of income(such as rent, a “side” business). Companies. Partnerships and Other Bodies
Every individual whose income for 2008 was more than $196,872 should file a tax return. However, if individuals are employed and have no other source of income and that income was taxed at source by the individual’s employer under the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system then that individual will not need to file a return.
All companies, self-employed individuals, other bodies such as partnerships and Provident Societies and employees with other sources of income must file an income tax return for last year (2008) and also file a return indicating estimated or projected income and the tax payable for the current year (2009) by March 15.
The final income tax payment for 2008 should be made by March 15. Additionally, income tax is to be paid on the estimated or projected income for 2009 in quarterly installments to the Collector of Taxes, Inland Revenue Department (IRD) by March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15.
An Income Tax Return should be filed even if the business suffers a loss. The tax to be paid in this case would be zero. The loss can be used in future years to cover future income tax payments.
If individuals fail to file their returns, the commissioner (TAAD) may effect an estimated assessment which may also include a penalty. The estimated assessment may also be automatically generated from the Tax Administration’s computer system using available information about the tax payer or a similar type and size business.
Alternately, the commissioner (IRD) may issue a court summons for the outstanding return(s). The court may fine the offender an amount not exceeding $10,000 for each outstanding return, plus any outstanding tax assessed.
Businesses and individuals may get additional information about income tax by calling the toll free number 1-888-TAX-HELP (1-888-829-4357); logging on to the website at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm or visiting the Taxpayer Service Unit at any of the 29 Tax Offices located at major population centres across the island.

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