Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Raise GCT registration threshold to $36 m - Bunting

Published:Wednesday | May 9, 2018 | 12:49 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter

Peter Bunting, opposition spokesman on industry, has proposed that the General Consumption Tax (GCT) turnover threshold should be increased from $3 million to $36 million in a push to remove barriers related to tax compliance in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector.

“I spoke with a senior chartered accountant and, by his estimate, any business that didn’t have a turnover of at least $3 million per month, a typical business could not manage all the tax compliance requirements,” said Bunting, as he made his first Sectoral Debate contribution, in ten years, on a topic unrelated to national security.

He continued, “Yet our current requirement for GCT registration is $3 million a year or about $250,000 per month.”

Bunting argued that the tax burden on MSMEs drove them into the informal sector. He explained, "Informality limits revenue, investment, and access to finance. The relative invisibility of Jamaica’s large informal sector is also an obstacle to planning and policy making by the government and market information for the private sector."

 He disclosed that he had been in discussions with the minister of finance on this issue and he agreed with the proposal in principle. "Not to the $36 million threshold, but to raising it from the $3 million, because this is an intuitive figure that I’m sharing here, so this not anything that I’m suggesting should be etched in stone,” Bunting explained.