Govt seeking to collect $50b in tax arrears

Govt seeking to collect $50b in tax arrears

Friday, May 20, 2016

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Finance and Public Service Minister Audley Shaw says the Government will be ramping up measures to ensure greater tax compliance to reduce the $50 billion now in arrears.
The minister was speaking at a recent post-Budget media briefing at his National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston.
Shaw noted that with the room for increased compliance, the Administration does not anticipate the need to announce further tax measures in addition to the $13.6 billion revenue package that he outlined during his opening Budget presentation on May 12.
The revenue measures include: an increase in the Special Consumption Tax (SCT) on petrol by $7 per litre; increase in the SCT on cigarettes to $14 per stick; an increase in departure tax from US$20 to US$35; introduction of SCT for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG); and a revision of the heavy fuel oil regime.
Meanwhile, Shaw announced that the Government is examining the asset tax regime.
The tax is imposed on the assets of regulated companies and other institutions such as registered societies, and is governed by Assets Tax (Specific Bodies) Act.
He advised that he has already met with several stakeholders on the matter, including the Jamaica Bankers Association (JBA).
“I have taken note of the proposals that are being made...(which) I will take a closer look at,” he said.
Under the Assets Tax regime, a rate of 0.25 per cent is applied to the asset value of regulated entities.
Companies with an asset base valued at least $50 million are required to pay $200,000; $5 million to $50 million - $150,000; $500,000 to $5 million - $100,000; $50,000 to $500,000 - $25,000; and $50,000 and less - $5,000.

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