Big waivers to popular Jamaicans
Several prominent Jamaicans were beneficiaries of waivers last fiscal year, some being athletes, politicians, lawyers and public servants.
Manchester Custos Sally Porteous, a retired politician, was one of the recipients, getting $969,366 waiver of both Special Consumption Tax (SCT) and General Consumption Tax (GCT) in August. The waiver related to the purchase of a 2015 Mitsubishi ASX motor vehicle.
Retired Senior Superintendent of Police Newton Amos received a $1.1 million waiver on a 2013 Mercedes Benz in May. That same month, Radley Reid, also got a $1.1 million waiver on the importation of a 2014 Toyota Rav 4, and a similar benefit was extended to Wilma Miller on a 2014 Honda CRV.
But the biggest waiver on motor vehicle imports over the period, went to Peleshia Waker Dubidad. The amount waived was $1.85 million on duties payable on a 2013 Kia Sorento.
A comparable $1.5 in waiver was given to Maria Clarke-Proute on a 2013 Audi Q5.
Jamaican track athlete Schillonie Calvert was the beneficiary of a waiver on the purchase of a motor vehicle last October.
The Ministry of Finance's records indicate that the sprinter received a waiver of Special Consumption Tax (SCT) in the amount of $446,602.10 on the purchase of a 2015 Toyota Corolla.
Two other private citizens, Claudette Morris and James Johnson, both got waivers in October. Morris got a $537,968 waiver on the purchase of a 2009 Toyota Premio motor car while Johnson got a $47,880 waiver on the purchase of an oxygen concentrator machine.
Capped at $10m monthly
Under Jamaica's agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the granting of new discretionary waivers has been capped at $10 million in any month.
In October, the last month for which information is reflected on the ministry's website, the Government waived $9.2 million in taxes and duties. The biggest recipient was the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), which got $5.7 million in waivers of SCT and GCT on the purchase of five vehicles.
The Jamaica Mortgage Bank received a $1.1 million waiver on stamp duties for shelter bonds. Another state entity, the Factories Corporation of Jamaica, benefited from a $385,000 waiver on transfer of property.