KINGSTON — Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw,said that the establishment of Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) should take effect on May 1.
The creation of the single entity for tax administration is being facilitated by the merger of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), the Taxpayer Audit and Assessment Department (TAAD) and the Tax Administration Services Department (TASD).
The amendments to the Revenue Administration Act (RAA) to facilitate the move, were passed by the House of Representatives on March 28, 2011 and then by the Senate on April 1, 2011.
Minister Shaw, in his Budget presentation April 28, explained that the creation of a “single administration agency for local taxes is to improve services to the people of Jamaica and to enhance its compliance programmes."
He said that the Tax Commissioners to be employed will be required to meet their revenue targets and the customer service requirements of the Jamaican people. “They will be entrusted with the authority to hire and terminate as they see best in meeting their
targets,” he said.
He informed that the Customs Department will be separated from Tax Administration and be transitioned into an executive agency effective May 1, while the Tax Appeal Department will become a Revenue Appeal Division under the Minister of Finance. This will also take effect in May.
Meanwhile, Minister Shaw said that the public can look forward to improved service in a number of areas, which include same-day processing for Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) Cards, Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC), General Consumption Tax (GCT) certificate, and motor vehicle titles; and the creation of three additional Tax Revenue Service centres. The new centres will be in Mandeville, Manchester; King Street, Kingston and a location in St. Ann.
This is in addition to Montego Bay, St. James; Constant Spring, St. Andrew; May Pen, Clarendon and Spanish Town, St. Catherine. Revenue service centres will provide a “one shop” service for tax payers. The locations were determined by the needs of the local population. At these locations all taxes, such as transfer tax, stamp duty, income tax, can be paid and other tax-related matters dealt with.
Mr. Shaw also noted that 22 tax offices, including existing offices, will be established for collection of tax revenue.
He said that some fundamental administrative changes will be made over a period of two years commencing this fiscal year, adding that “we must change our tax culture, and this is my objective in the next two years."
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter