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TAJ up for modernisation this fiscal year

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service hopes to modernise the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) during the fiscal year 2019/20.

During his budget presentation last Thursday, Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke said the Ministry intends to improve the physical infrastructure of the tax office, and in doing so, will increase the cadre of cashiers, expand its queue management system and implement additional e-service solutions to improve customer service delivery and experience.

TAJ will also develop a mobile app to accommodate payment of certain tax types including property tax and traffic ticket fines.

“There are many efforts to improve service delivery in the public sector,” Clarke said.

In 2017, the Government implemented a Traffic Ticket Amnesty to allow motorists with unpaid traffic ticket fines to make payments without incurring a penalty or interest.

As with previous amnesties, the objectives were to enhance revenue administration and collection; allow persons to clear their driving record; improve the efficiency of the courts; and reduce the number of traffic cases before the courts.

Since then the Government has conducted two traffic tickets amnesties, raking in over $360 million in back payments. It's not clear if the development of the mobile app will eliminate the need for amnesties going forward.

In addition to the mobile app, the upcoming fiscal year will also see the Government undertaking the designing and planning process for new tax offices to replace those at Portmore, Cross Roads, Christiana, Santa Cruz, St Ann's Bay, Brown's Town, Buff Bay, as well as for the retrofitting and reorganisation of tax offices in Mandeville and Montego Bay.

— Karena Bennett