Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Finance Ministry's power to grant tax relief to charities removed

Published:Monday | July 15, 2013 | 11:01 AM

Effective today, charities are no longer required to apply to the Minister of Finance for tax relief as part of new arrangements for the Tax Treatment of Approved Charitable Organisations.

The change is among several reforms contained in the recently passed Charitable Organizations (Tax Harmonization) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2013.

Applications will be administered by the Jamaica Customs Agency and the Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ).

Charitable organisations are being warned that they could be asked to pay more than three times the duties assessed on imports if they are found to have breached the rules granting tax relief.

The finance ministry says other organisations that do charitable works but have not been designated as an Approved Charitable Organisation by the Commissioner General of the TAJ should take the steps necessary to become compliant.

Otherwise, it says such groups should seek to work with an Approved charitable Organisation.

The move is part of a structural benchmark within the extended fund facility agreed between the Government and the International Monetary Fund as well as other multilaterals.

In May, Minister of Finance, Dr Peter Phillips explained that the measure has been introduced because of concerns by the multilaterals and the government that the current regime allowed for the possibility of significant revenue loss.

The finance minister noted that the regime would be short-lived as the Charities Act is expected to be passed by September.

He said the Charities Act will establish its own regime for registration and regulation.


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