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LETTER: Urge PM to revoke withholding tax to help SME

Published:Saturday | March 12, 2016 | 3:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

As a member of the SME (small and

medium-size enterprises) community in Jamaica, I am heartened to hear our new prime minister (PM) advocating efficiency as a hallmark of his upcoming tenure as chief servant of the people.

To this end, I urge the PM to make as a priority the revoking of the GCT withholding tax and its follow-up measure, the three per cent withholding tax on services.

Both cost more than they contribute. The GCT withholding, having been in operation for a few years, has not shown any increase GCT collections, but instead is costing the Government millions to administer, millions in bank fees, millions for the private sector to manage and hurting corporate Jamaica by putting a significant dent in our cash flow.

This reduction in cash flow stymies the private sector's ability to do business, make profits, and create jobs. In other words, it hampers the growth we are all looking for.

The three per cent tax is an even greater challenge to administer and for even

smaller potential benefits.

Let's be reminded that corporate Jamaica is responsible for 80 per cent of our tax

collection, directly (duties/income tax) and indirectly (PAYE/NIS/HEART). Anything that facilitates its development and growth can only contribute to the overall health of the Jamaican economy.

PAUL DUNCAN

pduncan428@gmail.com