Tue | Oct 16, 2018

TAJ ready for March 15 mad rush

Published:Wednesday | March 14, 2018 | 3:18 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) is prepared to cope with any last-minute rush on its revenue collection centres by taxpayers trying to meet tomorrow's March 15 deadline for filing their annual returns.

Meris Haughton, chief communications officer for TAJ, has assured that plans are in place to deal with any such eventuality.

"We still are putting things in place by having more persons on the front line because we anticipate more persons than on a normal day, but we don't anticipate that we will have to have persons operating in the offices until late at night," Haughton told The Gleaner.

This is largely because of an expanded and improved e-commerce portal, which has found favour with a majority of taxpayers who now file online.

"All the business taxes can be accessed through our online platform and persons have, in fact, been using it to do their business. Large taxpayers, for example, they are doing all their transactions online. Large taxpayers are those who have sales of up $1 billion or make payments of over $500,000,000."

"So all the major tax types - GCT (general consumption tax), income, payroll, they do those online. Employers are also using our online platform to transact their payroll business. That's both their monthly and annual pay as you earn (PAYE) obligations and when we come to GCT, most businesses are using the online platform to do their monthly filing obligations as well."

As a result of the significantly improved tax filing compliance rate, TAJ will be implementing changes for the start of the 2018-19 financial year, Haughton disclosed.

"As of April 1, we should see that change to all, because we are going to be mandating that all of them do so, and we have put in place the necessary mechanisms to accommodate small and micro businesses, who have seen up to about 80 per cent of them filing GCT online.

"We have seen that shift over the past two years where the mad rush peak is less on March 15. Gone are the days when our staff would have to be in the office sometimes close to midnight trying to balance off.'