Mon | Dec 17, 2018

TAJ collected $307 billion last fiscal year

Published:Friday | September 7, 2018 | 3:15 PM
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams, speaking at a Tax Administration Jamaica Transfer Pricing Agreement Seminar at the Hibiscus Lodge Hotel in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Thursday, September 6, 2018 - Contributed photo

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Fayval Williams says for the 2017/ 2018 fiscal year Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) performed above expectations, topping the agency's forecast.

“For the period, the TAJ collected $307 billion, surpassing estimates by $9.2 billion or 3.2 per cent. If you look at the prior fiscal year, 2016/2017, tax revenues were $284 billion, coming from $264 billion in 2015/2016,” she noted.

Speaking at a TAJ-hosted Transfer Pricing Agreement Seminar, held at the Hibiscus Lodge Hotel in Ocho Rios, St Ann on Thursday Williams said tax collection continues to see tremendous improvements as a result of the tax authority’s actions to encourage compliance.

“The TAJ’s efforts to strengthen enforcement capabilities and government’s shift from direct to indirect taxation continue to work hand in hand to propel the country’s growth in tax revenues,” she noted.

Williams pointed out that Jamaica received a largely compliant rating earlier this year, up from a partially compliant rating a year ago in 2017, based on its adherence to the exchange of information on request principle.

Meanwhile, Williams said Jamaica is benefiting significantly from the introduction of the Transfer Pricing Agreement tax regime.

Parliament made amendments to the Income Tax Act in 2015 to introduce the transfer pricing regime, in keeping with best practices adopted by several tax administrations worldwide and based on international standards and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) rules.

According to the TAJ, transfer pricing is the general term for the pricing of property (including property, plant, equipment, goods, and intangibles) or services in cross-border and domestic transactions between connected persons.

Minister Williams said the Transfer Pricing Agreement is among various initiatives now being employed by TAJ to improve tax compliance and promote transparency.

Williams noted that in order to ensure support, the TAJ has launched a user-friendly transfer pricing hub with useful information, legislation, articles, and forms that will guide persons in the process of complying with transfer pricing obligations.

Jamaica has also been benefiting from the expertise of an international transfer pricing agreement specialist, who is in the island to provide practical support in its implementation.

Additionally, Williams said a training programme with support from the OECD has been ongoing since 2015 to strengthen the capacity of the staff within the TAJ to administer the transfer pricing regime.

“The sum of these actions will help to safeguard Jamaica’s tax space, support efforts towards a transparent predictable investment climate as well as build a technically strong tax administration that understands taxpayers’ businesses, industries, and transactions,” she added.

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