JIS News

Starting today (Nov. 17), taxpayers will be able to file their General Consumption Tax (GCT) returns electronically.
This is in keeping with efforts by Government to reform the country’s tax system.
“Overall, we want it to be easier and simpler for persons to pay their taxes,” said Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Don Wehby. He informed that next year, the e-filing of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Corporate Income Tax, will be available.
Senator Wehby, who was making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on Friday (Nov.14), said that tax reform is integral to formalising the Jamaican economy, and putting the country on a firm path towards sustaining higher levels of economic growth.
“Our tax reform programme will focus on engendering greater compliance, simplifying the overall tax structure, while simultaneously strengthening tax administration,” he stated.
According to the Minister, there is a general consensus that Jamaica’s tax system is burdensome and discouraging of taxable/formal investment and business activity. He cited the 2008 ‘Paying Taxes’ report by the World Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers, where Jamaica is listed among 10 economies where it is most difficult to pay one’s taxes due to the number of different tax types, payment dates and tax rates.
In addition, a Inter American Development Bank report, commissioned at the end of last year, estimates that one per cent of corporations pay 71 per cent of corporate income tax collected; one per cent of registered entities accounts for 60 per cent of PAYE collected and one per cent of corporations pay 58 per cent of General Consumption tax (GCT) collected.
“To simplify the tax structure, we are pursuing amalgamation of the payroll taxes. We also have to protect our revenue inflows by broadening the tax base before we can reduce the overall incidence of taxation,” Senator Wehby said.
He stated that the Ministry is focusing on strengthening the institutional capacity of the Tax Administration by means of four strategic areas: organisation and management; information and communication technology; voluntary compliance through improved service, education and enforcement; and increased revenues.

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