Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Stamp duty on alcoholic beverages to rise

Published:Thursday | November 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM

With revenues running $7 billion behind target, the Government appears set to squeeze the importers of alcoholic beverages for additional duties in order to boost collection.

The additional rate of stamp duty on all distilled spirits, including brandy, gin and Geneva, rum and tafia, vodka or whisky, is to be increased from 34 per cent to 35 per cent.

A ministerial order, tabled in the House of Representatives on behalf of Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, indicates that the entry "Alcoholic Beverages 34 per cent" which is in the Stamp Duty Act, is to be deleted.

That entry is to be replaced with four separate tariff heads. One of the new heads, beer, will attract a stamp duty of the Jamaican dollar equivalent of US$0.60 per litre.

Wine under the tariff heading 22.04, including grape must, liqueurs and cordials, is to attract the Jamaican dollar equivalent of US$1 per litre. The

current duty rate is 30 per cent.

Undenatured ethyl alcohol, which is under the tariff heading 2207.1090, will now attract a 35 per cent duty. These goods currently attract a 30 per cent duty.

Stamp duty has been running $39.9 million behind projection, collecting $972.6 million of the $932.7 million up to the end of September.

Revenue and grants were targeted to be at $187.9 billion for the April to September quarter, but collections were $7 billion short at $195 billion.

At the start of the fiscal year in April, Parliament approved changes to

the alcohol regime to unify the specific special consumption tax on all

alcoholic beverages. The change saw a single specific rate base for alcoholic beverages being placed at $1,120 per litre of pure alcohol.

daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com