Taxpayers Responding Positively


Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, has said that the public has been responding positively to the Government’s call to pay their taxes.
“We are getting tremendous response. This June compared with last June, we raked in $12 billion more compared with last year; 37 per cent higher than we collected last year. (During) the first quarter of the fiscal year, April to June, we have collected some 24 per cent more than the first quarter of the previous fiscal year; and the collection of arrears has increased by 71 per cent when compared with the same period last year. It means therefore that the tax-paying public (is) responding to the call of the government (to pay their taxes),” Mr. Shaw said.
He was speaking at the annual members’ luncheon of the Jamaica Securities Dealers Association (JSDA), held under the theme: ‘Opening up New Market Opportunities’, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston yesterday, (July 8).
Mr. Shaw noted that the Government intended to instill in individuals a whole new respect for paying taxes. “I want it to be a partnership. Pay your taxes and watch your money being spent in a transparent and fiscally responsible way,” he stated.
The Finance Minister said that the long term objective of the government is to spread the burden compliant tax-payers usually bear, by bringing more people into the tax net, and in doing so, lower the overall rates of taxes. “We are committed to bringing corporate taxes in line with personal income tax rates over time, as we have this increased level of respect and compliance. We want to begin after that, to lower our overall rates of personal and corporate income taxes,” Mr. Shaw pointed out.
Turning to the status of the economy, the Finance Minister noted that this issue is no longer a major concern for Jamaican citizens as they feel assured about how the economy is being managed. He pointed out that over the past nine months “we (the government) have been taking purposeful steps to put the management of the economy on a sound footing, because the truth is, no matter what we are doing, no matter the circumstances that face us globally, the starting point has got to be a strong and a sound and fiscally responsible foundation on which to build the economy and the truth is. the state of the economy is no longer a primary issue.because there is a sense in which some stability is in place in terms of the management of the economy.”
President of the JSDA, Anya Schnoor in her remarks, said that in the 16 years since the security dealers market opened in Jamaica, there have been numerous changes and growth in the sector. “From humble beginnings, we have grown to manage in excess of $600 billion of client investment funds, far exceeding the assets under management of the commercial banking sector. This remarkable growth is a testament to the creativity of the indigenous Jamaican companies and a tremendous achievement we should all be proud of,” she noted.
“The industry survived during some of the most turbulent times in our financial sector and has become the major source by which the government is able to raise funds to finance its ongoing budgetary obligations,” she continued.
Miss Schnoor noted that the industry was deserving of the respect of the wider financial community and that “indeed the JSDA has proven to be an effective lobby group which represents 25 of the largest security dealers in the island.”
The Jamaica Securities Dealers Association, which began on September 11, 2002, was established to promote the consideration and discussion of all questions affecting the business of licensees under the Securities Act of 1993 in Jamaica, and generally to watch over, protect, speak, and act on all matters relating to the Act and the trading of securities.
The JSDA also aims to promote, support or oppose legislative or other measures affecting the association’s objects; and to assist, influence, develop, improve and uplift the codes, standards, conduct and calibre of trading in securities generally.
The JSDA’s mission is to promote the interest of the securities industry in Jamaica and to develop and improve standards in the industry. As such, the Association works closely with regulators to develop appropriate regulations for the industry, which facilitate development of the industry and protection for investors.

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