KINGSTON — Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, tabled Jamaica's first ever Tax Expenditure Statement in Parliament, when he opened the 2011/12 Budget Debate on Thursday April 28 at Gordon House.
Tax expenditureis, essentially, any provision that results in a reduction of tax for a specific type of taxpayer or activity.
Mr. Shaw said the statement conforms with proposed amendments to the Financial Administration and Audit (FAA) Act, within the Fiscal Responsibility Framework (FRF). It contains details of expenditures, including exemptions, deductions and credits granted in the calendar year preceding the previous financial year.
The tax expenditure estimates presented Thursday, covered the calendar period 2007 to 2009.
Mr. Shaw said a tax expenditure budget, which essentially provides an overall estimate of the revenue foregone, is a useful tax policy planning tool, as it helps to identify how much various exemptions and deductions cost the Government, annually.
The tax expenditure budget assists policy makers in determining areas where the revenue foregone is significant.
“Moreover, it is useful, in the sense that, it also gives an estimate of the various expenditures, other than direct spending, that Government undertook on various programmes and initiatives,” he said.
He also noted that, since 2010, the Government has published all waivers on its website, as part of its commitment to transparency.
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter