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Second phase of tax admin system, RAiS, takes aim at delinquents

Published:Wednesday | September 30, 2015 | 12:00 AMNeville Graham

The second phase of the Revenue Administration Information System (RAiS) will be rolled out on December 7. This, as the tax authorities move to further tighten up tax collection and revenue administration.

Meris Haughton, the director of communications at Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) says the new system will generate notices reminding persons to file their returns and pay their taxes.

“It is important that persons understand that they need to file and file on time. We’ve built into the system that when the dates are set, it will automatically generate those ‘failure to file’ notices as well as the penalties and interest that are applicable,” Haughton said.

She warned that the system allows for more inter-agency co-operation and sharing of information, and as such gives TAJ greater flexibility in going after those who are not paying their fair share of taxes.

Haughton told a taxation forum hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica on September 23 that the days of the tax authorities treating with tax delinquents on an individualised or case by case basis will come to an end under phase two of RAiS.

The system is structured to give everyone equal treatment, she said.

“We’ll be moving away from the non-transparency of who knows who, and so on. The conditionalities, as per the law, will be built into the system,” she advised the ICAJ tax forum.

RAiS phase two will include the processing of tax types such as PAYE and corporate income tax; payroll tax contributions, including NIS, HEART and NIS; education tax; and asset tax. It allows for registration for TRNs, document certification, Tax Compliance Certificates, and tracking tax partner relationships and requests.

“We will be showing persons exactly how to use the new functionalities within the system,” said Haughton.

There will also be a feature for garnishments, allowing the tax authorities to go after delinquent s who habitually have arrears in excess of 30 days.

Haughton said Tuesday that persons who do business with the government, for example contractors, could find their tax liabilities being deducted from funds due to them under their contracts. Both the liable taxpayer and the agency facilitating the garnishment will be notified.

Tax Administration will be deploying ‘taxpayer education teams’ nationwide to explain RAiS and its functionalities to accountants and businesses, she said.

Phase one of RAiS has dealt with registration of taxpayers, a better understanding of non-compliance, and has so far seen an increase in on-time tax filings and payments, said the TAJ director.

The second phase will include online registration, filing and payment of taxes. Haughton says this will promote greater efficiency compliance and convenience.