Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
The Government has tabled legislation in Parliament which is seeking to exempt persons who are not residents of Jamaica and who perform prescribed operations in the country, from the payment of income tax.
The memorandum of objects and reasons of the bill, which was tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday, states that the move to amend the Income Tax Act is part of the Government's push to grow foreign investment in Jamaica.
"It is hoped that, by facilitating the establishment of group head office companies in Jamaica, other companies will realise the economic benefits, including increased foreign investments, access of alternative capital providers, new markets and the creation of new jobs," read the memorandum of objects and reasons.
The bill outlines the activities which a company or other corporate body that operates in Jamaica must perform to qualify for group head office status.
The activities outlined are the supervision, management or monitoring of the operations of the company; accounting, data processing, engineering and other technical support; and centralised treasury management and similar funding activities.
APPLY TO MINISTER
Under the proposed law, companies must apply to the minister of finance for a certificate which designates it as a group head office.
The minister is obliged to refuse the grant of certificate if the applicant was incorporated or registered under any enactment in the country.
The minister cannot issue the certificate unless the entity proposes to employ, or already employs at least 30 per cent of its employees from among citizens of Jamaica who are resident in Jamaica.
"The bill exempts persons who are not residents of Jamaica and who perform group head office activities from the payment of income tax," the memorandum stated.