Sun | Apr 11, 2021

Growth & Jobs | Maintain proper records – TAJ urges business

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2021 | 12:14 AM
Taxpayer education officer at Tax Administration Jamaica, Rogerlene Miller.
Taxpayer education officer at Tax Administration Jamaica, Rogerlene Miller.

Business operators and entrepreneurs are being encouraged by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) to maintain proper records.

Speaking at a ‘JBDC Virtual Biz Zone’ session, held recently under the theme ‘Statutory Obligations For MSMEs During COVID-19’, Taxpayer Education Officer Rogerlene Miller explained that business records are to be maintained for a minimum of six years.

“They are required by law to maintain proper records in English, to substantiate their income and expenses. We stress record-keeping, because what we find happening is that over the years, persons come and do their form from information from off the top of their head, put [in] the figures, and there is no record or documentation to verify their claims on the form,” she said.

According to Miller, the information shared with the TAJ can be queried at any time by personnel from the organisation.

“You can be visited or audited by a tax auditor at any time once you file these tax returns. They can call at any time and request a record to back up your claim, and if you are unable to substantiate your claim, then you are liable for a tax assessment; so we encourage you to keep proper records,” she further explained.

Jamaica has a self-assessment tax system and taxpayers are required to calculate, file and pay their taxes at specific times set by the revenue authorities.

According to Miller, record-keeping in the context of Jamaica’s tax system enables business operators to prepare their tax returns.

“For those persons that have been keeping clean records, they will realise that at the end of the year when they are doing their tax returns, they don’t necessarily need an accountant, because all you are doing is pulling your figures from your records,” she pointed out.

“All you have to do is summarise the information, such as expenses and income, and drop it on to your tax returns or business expenses; so it is very easy and it is cost-effective as well. So you can do your tax returns once you have your records intact,” she added.

The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is the Government’s business development agency that assists in the sustainable creation and development of micro, small and medium enterprises in Jamaica.