Save the country some tax revenue
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I write as a concerned Jamaican to offer unsolicited advice to the minister of finance to help save the country some tax revenue.
A general election is constitutionally due by December 2016 and, based on past experience, each candidate from both political parties (the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party) will be given duty concessions on motor vehicles imported for campaigning, totalling 126 candidates.
I am proposing that, in formulating the import policy for these concessionary vehicles, the following be considered:
- The present threshold of US$35,000 be maintained;
- The concession should only be valid no later than two weeks prior to the date of the general election, with no extension granted thereafter;
- These vehicles should only be imported through new-car dealerships;
- Only new vehicles should be imported.
The foregoing are being proposed - as experience has shown that values being declared are below the threshold (CIF) value, to avoid the full duty and taxes on the excess transaction value - of US$35,000.
Using a new-car dealership to import these vehicles would make for easier verification of the declared value when compared to a used-car dealership, which imports used and new vehicles.
In the past, one used-car dealership, created a fictitious supply company, thus making it impossible to check the veracity of the transaction value of the vehicles imported in the country of export.
In some instances, only a third of the true value is declared to the Customs Agency.
I'm offering these safeguards to help protect the much-needed revenue and hoping that these proposals will be accepted, thus saving the treasury more than $100 million dollars in revenue.