In an effort to improve service delivery to clients and encourage greater compliance, the Tax Administration of Jamaica opened the new, modern ‘one stop’ Savanna-La-Mar Tax Office in Westmoreland on Thursday (June 11).
The relocated office is now in the Hendon Mall, Beckford Street, and accommodates the staff of both the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and the Taxpayer Audit and Assessment Department (TAAD).
The previous location of the Savanna-La-Mar Collectorate, on Great George Street, had proven grossly inadequate and less than an ideal location to accommodate both the staff and the increasing taxpayer base.
Director General, Tax Administration of Jamaica, Viralee Bailey-Latibeaudiere (left) prepares to cut the ribbon to signal the official opening of the new Savanna-La-Mar Tax Office at the Hendon Mall, Beckford Street in Westmoreland on Thursday (June 11). Also in photo (left to right) are; Commissioner of Tax Payer Audit and Assessment, Ainsley Powell, Tax Office employee, Mrs. Brown and Manager of the office, Mark Todd.
In delivering the address at the official opening, Director General of Tax Administration, Viralee Bailey-Latibeaudiere, said that the development was part of Government’s efforts to reform and transform tax administration.
“The reform programme now being undertaken by Government is focussed on engendering greater tax compliance, simplifying the overall tax structure while, simultaneously, strengthening tax administration,” she said.
“There is a general consensus that Jamaica’s tax system is burdensome and that it discourages formal investment and business activity. To simplify the tax structure, the Government is pursuing the amalgamation of payroll taxes,” she added.
Director General, Tax Administration of Jamaica, Viralee Bailey-Latibeaudiere (centre) converses with the first recorded client at the new Savanna-La-Mar Tax Office, Michael Manning (left), and Manager of the office, Mark Todd (right), during the official opening at the Hendon Mall, Beckford Street Westmoreland on Thursday (June 11).
She said that, in order to protect revenue inflows, the tax base is being broadened and, when this is achieved, it may be possible to reduce the overall incidence of taxation.
She observed that the official launch of the new Savanna-La-Mar Tax Office was testament to the fact that the Tax Administration was on a drive to change the way it operates, in order to improve service and encourage greater voluntary compliance.
“The relocated facility of the Savanna-La-Mar Tax Office offers such significant benefits as, more office space conducive to top class service delivery, modern amenities that will enhance efficiency, and more suitable location in terms of accessibility and complementary services, such as bank, medical centres and other businesses,” she said.
Tax Administration will be testing a new service, called ‘TAXREM’, later this month. This service will allow customers, who have signed up to receive text message reminders, that they need to renew their motor vehicle registration or make other payments.
She announced that following the pilot testing, the service would be refined and introduced fully to the public.
In the coming months ‘TAXREM’ will be expanded to include other related reminders, such as renewal of Drivers’ Licence, Certificate of Fitness and tax payment due dates.