Monitor tax deductions by bosses
THE EDITOR, Sir:
On July 21, 2017, I received a letter from the tax office advising that I owed income taxes in the year 2014. The assessment letter outlined the breakdown of how they arrived at the figure in arrears and that they needed to recover same within 30 days of receipt. The letter was dated June 16, 2017.
Along with an accountant, we conducted the investigation after requesting a P24 form from the relevant places of employment during the year of assessment. We then discovered that a prominent government institution in which I worked on Oxford Road, without my knowledge, did not make the payment of income taxes on my behalf. After I left this place of work, I did not receive a notification via letter or a P45 form that the income tax was not deducted and that I was responsible to file and pay my own PAYE. This institution failed to administer PAYE correctly.
On August 21, I went to the Compliance Unit at 1-3 King Street to provide my response letter as directed in the assessment. My response simply explained that I was willing to make payment despite the fact that the government institution did not make payment on my behalf. Additionally, I requested an extension to make payment. The compliance officer advised me that the letter was to be delivered at the Oxford Road Tax Office Unit and that interest accrued from July 16, 2017 to present.
Besides my tax office visit being the worst experience of my life in terms of interacting with a government agency, the employer was not penalised for not administering the PAYE correctly.
I, therefore, implore all Jamaicans not to be caught in a web of destruction. To avoid this situation, request a P24 form yearly from your employer/employers to ensure that they are paying taxes correctly on your behalf, request a P45 form if you are moving from one employer to another to ensure continuous payment of taxes, and get an accountant to explain the figures to you.