Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Answers for frequently asked property tax questions

Published:Sunday | April 16, 2017 | 4:00 AM- Compiled by Jovan Johnson. Feedback: jovan.johnsongleanerjm.com
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) and Minister of Finance Audley Shaw in dialogue during a recent sitting of the House of Representatives.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw on April 11 announced lowered rates for property tax calculations after significant public outcry over the initially announced rates.

Here are key details about the implementation of the revised property tax system.

 

1. Bands

 

There are eight bands plus the flat rate of $1,000 for property valued at up to $400,000. (See details of the bands at http://jamaica-gleaner.com/ propertytaxbill)

 

2. Where to check

 

 

property tax

 

Visit any tax office islandwide or use the query system on the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) website (you must have your valuation or strata number): (https://ptsqueryonline.fsl.org.jm/PTSOnlineWeb/ptsquery.jsp. Note that the TAJ's system is being updated to reflect reduced rates announced on April 11, 2017)

 

3. Challenges to valuations

 

These must be made to the commissioner of land valuations within 60 days of service of notice of the valuation.

The forms to use can be found at tax offices or National Land Agency (NLA) offices islandwide.

Valid reasons for objections to valuations, according to the NLA:

- That the value assessed is too high or too low. Please note that objections may not be made on grounds such as 'the tax is too high'. Objections may be made only to the amount at which your land has been valued, not to the taxes due. So first, ask yourself whether the valuation of the land is fair, based on the market value prevailing at the valuation date, and if the answer is 'yes', then you have no reason to object on the grounds that the value is too high or low;

- That lands which should be included in one valuation have been valued separately;

- That lands which should be valued separately have been included in one valuation;

- That the person(s) named in the notice is/are not the owner(s) of the land.

- If your objection is to the value assessed, you may also submit a Declaration of Value indicating the amount for which, in your opinion, the land should be valued.

Even if you file a Declaration of Value, you must pay land tax on 75 per cent of the valuation as assessed by the commissioner of land valuations; or the valuation declared by you, whichever is the greater

 

4. Has the basis for Agricultural D-rating changed?

 

There's been no change. The D-rating is for property being used primarily for agriculture. Owners can apply to the secretary, Land Taxation Relief Board, to get up to 50 per cent relief off their obligations. Forms can be found at NLA and tax offices or on the TAJ's website

 

5. Are there changes in payment plans?

 

No change. Owners have the right to pay in instalments (quarterly, half-yearly or in full). Quarterly by end of April, July, October or January. Half-yearly deadlines are by end of July and by end of January. The yearly deadline is by end April.

 

6. Any penalty for this 2017-2018 financial year?

 

No penalties will be applied once amounts are paid within the fiscal year.

For additional information on the property tax structure, use the TAJ's property tax portal: https://www.jamaicatax.gov.jm/web/guest/property-tax-hub1