JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Proprietors of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the Montego Bay area, is to benefit from information sessions with Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ).
  • This will be carried out under the Mobile Business Clinic Initiative (MBCI), which gets underway in Montego Bay on Wednesday, October 29.
  • Launched last month, the MBCI, which is being spearheaded by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), is an islandwide project involving the decentralisation of business development services.

Proprietors of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the Montego Bay area, is to benefit from information sessions with Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ).

This will be carried out under the Mobile Business Clinic Initiative (MBCI), which gets underway in Montego Bay on Wednesday, October 29.

Launched last month, the MBCI, which is being spearheaded by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), is an islandwide project involving the decentralisation of business development services, geared at reaching a wider group of MSMEs in new and existing industries and sectors.

The TAJ will be joining forces with the JBDC to offer tax related information as well as some services when the first session of the initiative officially kicks off at the National Commercial Bank (NCB) car park in Montego Bay. The sessions will be held over a three-day period.

Director, Communications, TAJ, Meris Haughton, shared this information during a panel discussion on: ‘The Evolution of Service Delivery in the Public Sector’, hosted by the Office of the Cabinet, as part of the Jamaica Customer Service Association’s (JCSA) annual conference on service excellence at the Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston, on October 8.

Providing further details on the partnership, Ms. Haughton told JIS News that small business persons will be able to speak with TAJ team members “to get more information to make them more compliant (and) to get information about taxes.”

“They will get information about what they need to know in terms of being a good tax payer (and) the benefits that can be derived from taxes. They can also get information on how to register as a tax payer (and) how to file returns. They can actually get support in terms of completing the forms,” she said.

Pointing to other services that will be offered by the TAJ over the period, the Communications Director said for those businesses that are already registered, TAJ personnel will be able to check the records to see if there are any outstanding tax liabilities, and “they’ll be able to make an arrangement to settle those obligations.”

She explained that the sessions are mainly for information purposes to assist persons in understanding what is involved in registering a business, reporting on that business, “just ensuring that they are compliant, as we help them to help themselves.”

Ms. Haughton pointed out that the partnership with JBDC on the mobile business clinic is just another step in the TAJ’s entire tax payer education thrust, as it works to improve customer service delivery and make it easier for persons to do business with the agency. “We have tax payer education teams in seven of our main locations across the island,” she informed.

The three-year JBDC initiative will be carried out via mobile office units that will offer a full suite of business development services, in addition to services offered by Government agencies, including Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the Consumer Affairs Commission, Bureau of Standards  Jamaica, Companies Office of Jamaica, among others.

Main objectives of the project are: to facilitate business formalisation, market access and market entry; to increase awareness of business development services; to provide training, capacity development and technical support; to promote sound entrepreneurial practices through public education; and to sensitize MSMEs about the Government’s reform agenda, including the Secured Interest in Personal Property (SIPP) Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill.

The clinics will be implemented in major town centres and remote communities across Jamaica. The services to be offered include: financial consultation, technology innovations, business advice, consultation and formalisation, logistics hub training, standards and certification and business modelling.

The mobile clinics will be held monthly over a three-day period until the close of the pilot phase on September 24, 2015.The programme will then be evaluated before the implementation of year two, in late 2015.

Being held under the theme: ‘Exceptional Customer Experience: Gateway to National Transformation’, the two-day conference is being held as part of activities to observe National Customer Service Week from October 5 to 11.