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More property owners rushing to settle tax arrears

Published:Wednesday | September 4, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Meris Haughton

FOLLOWING THE publication of the names of approximately 400 delinquent taxpayers recently, property owners, in apparent dread of the embarrassment that this causes, have been rushing into the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) to settle their debts.

Meris Haughton, director of communications at the TAJ, said: "Persons have been coming in, even those persons whose names weren't published, because we find that this also acts as a deterrent as persons are trying to make amends before they are caught."

She added: "When we take persons to court, it's really a last resort. We want to have dialogue, because we understand that times are hard, so if it is that persons are having challenges, we are willing to work out a payment plan."

Haughton also told The Gleaner that there should be no excuse for non-compliance as there are many options to make payment.

"We have boosted that area of our organisation, where we offer and provide more education to persons so that they are aware of what their rights and responsibilities are," she said.

"We have heard the complaints about the system, but generally, we find that persons play the catch-me-if-you-can game. We try to have many options in place to make it easier for persons to comply," Haughton told The Gleaner.

She said persons can also pay their taxes online, so they don't have to go to a tax office.

"We just want persons to know we are trying to meet them halfway, and our compliance measures continue."