News

Proposal for GCT on cars up to 10 years old

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Senior staff reporter dunkeya@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, February 26, 2014    

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CONSULTATIONS are to be held with players in the used car industry over a proposal under the current tax reform action plan to amend the General Consumption Tax (GCT) Act to allow for the payment of GCT on vehicles 10 years old and under.

The proposal, which is one of several contained in the Blueprint for Tax Reform now being examined by a parliamentary cmmittee, is aimed at "broadening the tax base in keeping with current realities". The intention was to have the amendment signed and gazetted by April 1 of this year.

However, during a meeting of the Special Select Committee on Tax Measures at Gordon House in downtown Kingston yesterday, Opposition Committee Member Karl Samuda said that he was of the opinion that the Act should be amended to reflect "less than 10 years" instead of "10 years and under".

"The reason I am particularly interested in this is because in another life I had occasion to increase the age of vehicles permitted in and I recall at the time that the 10-year benchmark was an important consideration. Apparently suppliers of vehicles 10 years old in the United States carry a much more attractive price, so that they are able to get them at cheaper prices. I am saying that it should be under 10 years," Samuda suggested.

According to information from the Jamaica Customs website, the age limit for the importation of pick-ups is six years, five years for motor cars and 10 years for trucks, trailers and other heavy-duty equipment.

Yesterday, Committee Chairman, Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips said he had no real position on the suggestion.

"What is being proposed is 10 years and under, what is being urged is under 10 years. I am not clear myself at this point, apart from time, what turns on it substantively," he admitted.

"I think a discussion with the players in the industry would suffice to convince you," Samuda noted.

"I would urge that Tax Policy (division under the Ministry of Finance) have a dialogue with representatives of the used car industry," Dr Phillips said.

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