Business

Pay your taxes, JMA head tells businesses

Wednesday, July 30, 2014    

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Jamaica Manufacturers' Association (JMA) President Brian Pengelley had nothing but unsettling words for business operators who choose not to pay their taxes.

Tax evasion, Pengelley insisted, creates ripple effects that result in some of Jamaica's biggest problems.

"Look, if we are going to work our way out of things... [in an effort] to improve this country, every single person and business must pay taxes," Pengelley said in his address at a JMA press conference to unveil a US$50-million foreign exchange (FX) partnership with Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) on Monday.

"If you look at the statistics, there are not enough of us paying our taxes [and] that is a big part of the reason why we have [so many] issues here in this country," he said in response to questions about the recent disclosure by Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips that many businesses are evading taxes.

Pengelley emphasised that he is personally in support of taxation, and that the same holds true for JMA. "...We insist that our members do it [pay their taxes], and it's one of the criteria that we go through with our members. We want to see those current TCCs (Tax Compliant Certificates), we want to know that they are compliant," he said.

Adding that the manufacturing sector contributes more than $100 million daily in taxes to the country's coffers, Pengelley said that his association will continue to ensure that its members are fully tax-compliant because "the last thing I could have is someone holding it up, saying that the manufacturers are not compliant."

Last week, Phillips disclosed that while the Companies Office of Jamaica has 82,000 listed firms on record, only 18,500 of the 62,000 companies assumed to be functional have registered for corporate income tax with Tax Administration Jamaica.

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