The Senate, on Friday (March 22), approved a Bill for the establishment of Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) as a semi-autonomous revenue authority.
The Tax Administration Jamaica Act 2013 was piloted by Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding.
He explained that the TAJ will be responsible for registration, taxpayer services, audit, investigations, assessments, collection, enforcement, legal representation, and various support services now being carried out in respect of domestic taxes.
“What this legislation does is to establish a new governance machine that gives greater autonomy to revenue administration, and establishes a governance regime, which will allow for greater autonomy in respect to their ability to manage their own budget, and deploy their own human resources,” he stated.
He noted that this module of a semi-autonomous revenue authority operates in various developed and developing countries.
According to Senator Golding, the passage of this legislation is one of the structural benchmarks in the programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He also noted that the Bill represents the continuation of the process of reform of Jamaica’s tax system, which began in 2011.
The Bill provides for the establishment of a board that will be responsible for overseeing the general administration of the authority; and a Commissioner General, who will be responsible for its day-to-day operation.
In supporting the Bill, Opposition Senator, Arthur Williams, said he has no issue with what is being achieved by the Bill in completing the process of tax reform.
“We support, entirely, what is being proposed here, and we understand the urgency of passing this Bill…,” he stated.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter