JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has allayed fears regarding the introduction of a proposed flat tax for small business operators in specific sectors.
Addressing the Micro, Small and Medium Size (MSME) Alliance Post Budget debate at the Stella Maris Conference Centre, Shortwood Road, Kingston on Friday (April 16), Mr. Shaw said that the proposal was not intended to add a new layer taxes to burden small businesses.
“The flat tax is not something that is signed off on, it’s something I’m looking at. I have been carrying out the research, I’m looking at international examples of best practices as to how it can work,” he told the meeting.
He said that he has to look within the context of domestic idiosyncrasies and peculiarities. He also asked the audience to bear in mind that all he is trying to do is to create a more equitable environment, to spread the burden of taxation across a wider area of society.
“Once that burden is spread, we will be able to look at reducing the income tax rates, because more people would have come into the tax net,” he said.
During his opening presentation in the 2010/11 Budget Debate on April 8, Mr. Shaw disclosed that Cabinet would soon examine a proposal to introduce a flat tax for small business operators, primarily artisans, in certain fields, including plumbers, painters, masons, electricians and transport operators.
He pointed out that the tax authorities would work out details of how this will be applied, as well as the attendant legislative provisions.
The 35-member MSME Alliance was established to build meaningful partnerships and create strategic alliances and effective networking. The forum was organised to facilitate a better understanding of the 2010/11 Budget provisions and how they will impact the sector.

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