Tue | Nov 24, 2020

Groups call for tax relief on digital devices

Published:Friday | October 23, 2020 | 4:05 PM
They argue that that the tax relief will provide concrete help to numerous small entrepreneurs, who unlike most larger companies, may not have sufficient funds to buy the equipment they need to adapt to the new digital reality - Contributed photo.

A call is being made by private sector groups and a non-government organisation for the Government to remove duties and taxes on mobile and digital equipment for least 24 months.

The call has come from the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association, the Business Process Outsourcing Industry of Jamaica, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the Council of Voluntary and Social Services, and the MSME Alliance.

They want the relief to apply to mobile phones, software, tablets, computers and related accessories, peripherals and other digital devices.

It is being argued that the move is needed given the critical role of Internet connectivity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on life, particularly education.

“Digital devices have now become indispensable, and we need to address with urgency the inequality in connectivity. Those who can afford it will already have purchased the equipment they need for the new school year, if not long before, leaving the rest behind. The pandemic has also revealed just how far behind we are in making Jamaica a digital economy,” the groups argued in a statement.

They charge that Jamaica needs to become the leader in digital transformation in the Latin American and Caribbean region, which they say can only occur if all stakeholders have access to the digital tools needed to become a knowledge-driven economy.

The groups argue that the tax relief outlined will provide concrete help to numerous small entrepreneurs, who unlike most larger companies, may not have sufficient funds to buy the equipment they need to adapt to the new digital reality.

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