TAJ reports spike in court action against delinquent taxpayers
TAX Administration Jamaica (TAJ) is reporting a 43 per cent increase in the number of delinquent tax payers taken before the court this financial year, as the agency ramps up its collection strategies to meet its revenue target of $236 billion.
Director of Communications Meris Haughton said that collection measures implemented this fiscal year have resulted in an increase in revenue.
"Since April 1, 2013 a total of 2,868 summonses have been served, valued at $4.96 billion, and up to the end of January, the TAJ was at 96.16 per cent of its revenue target," she added.
The TAJ is also paying greater attention to payroll records of businesses, and has partnered with the National Housing Trust (NHT) to conduct payroll audits.
Haughton pointed out that a risk assessment conducted by the TAJ showed that employers have been deducting the monthly amounts, but not paying them over to the Trust on time.
In addition to the increased enforcement activities and audits this fiscal year, the TAJ has also increased its taxpayer education thrust. Haughton said a series of free Special Taxpayer Assistance Programmes were held islandwide catering to micro and small businesses, with TAJ and NHT members going into communities and offering assistance to help businesses file their tax returns and other requirements.
She noted that the TAJ is improving the efficiency of its operations going into the new fiscal year. "Currently, our Information Technology system is used to identify taxpayers who file their return late or make payments late and a special customer care team is assigned to make reminder calls and issue late fliers with consequences if (you) do not pay on time," she added.
Businesses and individuals who have not been compliant are being urged to pay their taxes, as the TAJ will continue to take the necessary steps to enforce greater compliance and to meet its revenue target.