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Tax office takes unusual step to solve sticker shortage

Published:Sunday | June 30, 2013 | 12:00 AM

An unusually high number of motorists are taking the cheaper option of licensing their vehicles for six months instead of a year, resulting in a shortage of 2013 registration stickers at some tax offices.

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) said it is addressing the shortage, but denied that motorists are being turned away, or otherwise told that the only other option is to register their vehicles for a year. Instead, they are being offered the option of seven-month registration, the office said.

Last Wednesday, the TAJ issued a statement saying that efforts have been made to reallocate stickers to offices where stocks have fallen below standard levels. The problem manifested two weeks ago.

"In the event that a tax office is out of stock, it will only affect persons registering for six months," the TAJ said.

TAJ communications officer Leighton Beckles told Sunday Business that the stock of 2013 stickers is low and may eventually be depleted as motorists continue to register their vehicles for six months.

Where stocks have been depleted, he said, an alternate measure has been put in place to allow motorists to register their vehicles for seven months on a pro-rated basis. This will allow the tax offices to issue 2014 stickers, he said.

"Persons registering for a year will not experience any difficulty as they will be provided with 2014 stickers," the TAJ said.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and at no time will taxpayers be turned away," said Beckles.

No more 2013 stickers will be printed. The 2013 batch was procured from their overseas suppliers way in advance of their issue date, and new orders would pose a logistical problem at this time, he said.

The cost of vehicle registrations, fitness certificates, and licence plates, was last increased by 50 per cent

The fees for licensing now range from J$7,700 to J$36,375, depending on the vehicle's cubic centimetre or CC rating.

Driver's licence fees now range from J$4,500 to J$6,000.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com