New charity regime will support individual donors
REGISTRAR of the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS) Errol Gallimore has assured private individuals engaged in charitable activities that the new regime will continue to facilitate their goodwill.
Formerly, individuals who operate charities outside of Jamaica would request waiver letters from the Ministry of Finance and Planning in order to clear items donated to children's homes, communities or organisations in the country.
Under the Charities Act, which was passed late last year, organisations that wish to benefit from tax exemptions or other statutory relief are now required to register with the DCFS in order to access such benefits.
But Gallimore emphasised that it was not the intent of the Charities Act to exclude private individuals engaged in these activities.
"We want to ensure that this type of charity continues under the new regime. We are, therefore, inviting these persons to contact the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies and we will guide them through the process of completing the application forms and inform them about what is required in order to facilitate their charity," he explained.
The registrar noted that there are several provisions made for individuals donating to charity.
"They can work through a registered charitable organisation that is located in the community, whether it is the church, school, foundation or association. If these individuals are associated with an overseas company, they can have that company registered locally, through the Companies Office of Jamaica," Mr. Gallimore said.
Persons may view all the registered charities in Jamaica on the Companies Office of Jamaica website. Financial records are also required of private individuals operating charities.