Licence plates shortage to ease next week; TRN cards now printed on demand

Licence plates shortage to ease next week; TRN cards now printed on demand

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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THE shortage of private motor vehicle licence plates should ease by next week as two batches of material to print the plates are expected to arrive in the island this week, according to Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ).

Director of communications at TAJ Meris Haughton told the Jamaica Observer that a small batch should be airfreighted initially, followed by the bulk of the material later in the week. She said strategies have been put in place to distribute the licence plates to the TAJ's offices as soon as they arrive.

Up to late last week, TAJ said it had not received the expected delivery of licence plates from the local supplier due to a delay in the supply of raw material from overseas.

In the meantime, the TAJ is now printing Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) cards on demand, following the backlog experienced a few months ago.

"The applicant has to indicate that they want a card printed as we now print on demand. At no time did we stop issuing numbers," Haughton stated.

Another source at the Government's revenue collection department explained that... the suspension resulted from "issues with the system", as well as persons simply not returning to collect their cards.

At the same time, Haughton said transactions requiring the use of a TRN were still accommodated since the applicants were provided with numbers, despite not having the physical cards. "Upon request, they were provided with a letter affixed with the TAJ's seal, verifying the number. This verification would only be needed for some non-tax transactions as we would have the number in our database," Haughton explained.

She said, however, that there has been no change to the application process for TRN cards since June 2013, since the TAJ issued a slew of new requirements for TRN applicants, which it said was as a result of an increase in the number of persons applying.

Meanwhile, TRN services are no longer provided by the Tax Registration Centre in downtown Kingston, as these are now done by tax offices across the island.

Between April and December 2014, the TAJ processed 82,810 TRN applications, while 44,632 new applications have been received this year.

-- Alphea Saunders

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