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JIS News

Acting Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Viralee Lattibeaudiere, is reporting that an increasing number of Jamaicans are making greater use of its online facility to pay their taxes.
Speaking at yesterday’s (July 22) JIS ‘Think Tank,’ Mrs. Lattibeaudiere informed that since its launch in 2004, the online facility, which she refers to as the Virtual Collectorate, for the most part has been well received by taxpayers and has experienced a phenomenal increase in its usage, making it one of the most used collectorates in the country.
“In the last year and a half we have noticed a significant increase in the usage of the virtual tax collectorate, particularly for the payment of General Consumption Tax (GCT), property tax and traffic fines. Right now it occupies 7th position in terms of collection among our 29 collectorates islandwide,” she disclosed.
“We encourage taxpayers to use this channel, as it is easy and you can do it from the comfort of your home and office. You don’t have to come in to the tax office, just go to the website: www.jamaicatax-online.gov.jm,” the Acting Commissioner implored.
She pointed out that there are certain taxes that are payable using this facility, such as property tax, GCT, special consumption tax (SCT), traffic fines, hotel licence fees and betting tax.
“Property tax payment is the most frequent transaction at the virtual collectorate, while GCT payment accounts for the largest sum of taxes collected,” Mrs. Lattibeaudiere said, noting that “93 per cent of all the tax collected is done by our 10 largest collectorates,” including the virtual collectorate.
Commenting on the tax amnesty that has been extended, Mrs. Lattibeaudiere cited the usual last-minute month-end rush and lamented the Jamaican culture of procrastination.
“We are encouraging the taxpayers to really use this facility (online), as our physical facility.just cannot take the taxing crowd on the last day,” she explained.
The virtual collectorate is only one facet of the IRD’s thrust to automate its systems by incorporating more information technology (IT) in its operations.
“We will leverage IT to improve processing time at customer service, data access, trade facilitation and make data available for extraction and analysis,” Mrs. Lattibeaudiere pointed out.
The IRD will also aim to implement a Tax Administration Intelligence System (TABIS) to provide a ‘warehouse’ for extracting integrated data and reports across all tax types, including customs information; expand the menu options available for online e-payment and implement an e-filing facility as well as an automated bulk mailing system for pre-sealed notices and letters.