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Taxing problem for retiree

TELL Claudienne

Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, February 11, 2018

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Dear Claudienne,

I am an 88-year-old retiree, and in June 2016 Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) granted me new tax status. However, the TAJ notification to my bank, JMMB, had incorrect account numbers for the two Capital Edge savings accounts.

For over a year I have been calling, writing and pleading with the TAJ to re-issue the order to my bank using the correct account numbers, but to no avail.

A TAJ letter of June 3, 2016 was sent to JMMB on June 3, 2016, giving approval “for interest not exceeding $224,266.66 per annum on the above account (s) to be paid without deduction of income tax to my two accounts.”

However, the TAJ letter had the incorrect account numbers. I have written to them but neither the TAJ Headquarters in Kingston, nor the TAJ Regional Office in St James have had the error corrected or answered my registered letters.

I would appreciate your help in this matter.

HW

Dear HW,

We asked the TAJ Communications Unit to have your problem investigated, and on Wednesday February 7, the Tell Claudienne column received the following letter from the Chief Corporate Communications Officer :

“The matter at subject was investigated and the following was revealed:

1. We confirm that there was an unfortunate error made to the original instruction to the bank in June 2016, in which one (1) digit was incorrectly typed, and we apologise for this error.

2. This was subsequently brought to the attention of the Refund Unit by both the bank and you.

3. The matter was then investigated and a corrected letter dated August 29, 2016 reissued via email and later by hand to the bank (signed for). A copy was also issued to HW (A copy is attached for reference).

4. As part of our due diligence in this matter you brought to our attention, the bank was also contacted and a representative confirmed that the letter is on file and is being applied. Please note that the bank would be required to deduct tax on any interest earned in excess of the amount stated on the letter.

5. We cannot confirm receipt of the report by HW that, “For over a year I have been calling, writing and pleading with the TAJ to re-issue the order to my bank using the correct account numbers, but to no avail.”

Having examined the case, we are aware that since 2016 the income tax threshold has increased, and as such HW may be entitled to additional threshold/tax-free amount, which now stands at $1,500.096, with effect from January 1, 2018.

For his convenience, we have made contact with the St. Ann's Bay Tax Office, which is closest to his address, and have asked them to accommodate HW with applying for a refund for 2017, if applicable, as well as to apply for a new exemption letter for the bank, which would reflect any increased amount of interest which may be paid without the deduction of income tax. He may contact the Assistant General Manager at the St. Ann's Bay Tax Office for further assistance.”

The copy of the letter TAJ sent you on August 29, 2016 was by ordinary mail. The letter reads:

“Approval is hereby given under Section 31A of the Income Tax Act for interest not exceeding $112,133.33 per annum on the above account (s) to be paid without deduction of income tax. Interest paid in excess of the amount stated above should be taxed at 25 per cent, and the tax so deducted paid over to the Commissioner General of Tax Administration Jamaica.

This approval will remain in force until you receive:-

I A new advice

II Notification of death of any party to the above

III Any change in the ownership of the above account (s)

IV Any change in account number (s)”

Please contact the St Ann's Bay TAJ and let us know the outcome.

All the best.

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