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Story Highlights

  • ‘The Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2013’piloted by Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding
  • The Bill will make the revenue measures that were introduced as at April 1 permanent
  • The Bill harmonises the provisions of the Income Tax Act with the recently amended Revenue Administration Act

A Bill to regularize measures already in place, and make the revenue measures that were introduced as at April 1 permanent, was passed in the Senate on July 31.

The Bill entitled, ‘The Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2013’, was piloted by Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding.

Senator Golding noted that the Bill gives statutory force to several revenue measures that have already been brought into effect by way of Provisional Orders pursuant to Section 3 (1) of the Provision Collection of Tax Act.

“Those provisional orders only have temporary life and this Bill will supersede them and concretise the relevant tax measures by amending the legislation, which is the Income Tax Act, before the provisional orders expire,” he said.

The Bill also addresses several measures which were effected to raise revenues, such as: a wider definition of emoluments accruing to persons or family members by reason of office or employment, to include, cash benefit or kind, such as rent or laundry allowance received by such persons.

It also makes provision to harmonise the provisions of the Income Tax Act with those of the recently amended Revenue Administration Act, so as to increase, widen and facilitate access to information held by various parties, and to facilitate more efficient and effective exercise of the powers of Tax Administration Jamaica.

The Bill also permanently records in the Principal Act certain measures which date back as far as 2005 and others which date back to 2009 and some to 2012.

In his remarks, Senator Lambert Brown emphasised the fact that there were no new taxes being implemented by the legislation, but that the Bill was formalising provisional orders that have already been made.

For his part, Opposition Senator, Kavan Gayle, welcomed the legislation while noting that “it was another step in the process of tax reform which has been proceeding, albeit at a slow pace, but despite that, I welcome the fact that however slowly we are implementing it, we are going forward.”

The Bill was passed without any amendment. It was previously  approved in the House of Representatives on July 30.