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Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has advised that parents wishing to purchase computers for their children, should do so through the schools in order to avoid the General Consumption Tax.
He has again advised the public that computers that are purchased by schools, universities and educational institutions are exempted from tax. Speaking on his call-in radio programme, Jamaica House Live, on April 29, Mr. Golding explained why some published materials and computers are now on the GCT list.
He said books required for educational purposes will not attract taxes. But he said there were some grey areas as there may be some books that are educational but may not be prescribed by tertiary institutions or on the Ministry of Education’s list. Mr. Golding said efforts would be made by Government to shelter those from the GCT.
People who wish to read leisure/pleasure magazines every month, must pay some GCT as it would be unfair to ask poor people to bear these taxes, Mr. Golding said.
On the concerns being expressed about taxes on computers, Mr. Golding, said “Computers can be a learning tool but the majority of the computers being brought into the island are not being used for learning”. He said banks and various business operations have thousands of computers and as such could not be allowed to get them tax free.
He said those items for entertainment or business, such as lifestyle magazines and computers for banks and insurance companies, would now be taxed. “Everybody has to throw something in the ‘kitty’ to help this country through the challenging economic crisis,” Mr. Golding said.

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