Payroll - Employer's Guide

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Introduction
Important Definitions

PAYE SYSTEM DEFINED
Duties and Obligations of the Employer (Under the Income Tax Act)

Employer’s Duties outside of the Income Tax Act

Employer’s Annual Return of Income Tax Deductions 
What are Emoluments?

List of items included in emoluments 

List of items not included in emoluments 

Exemptions to PAYE

 

CONTRACTS
Contract of Service

Contract for Services
Personal Services
Education Tax and Contracts of Personal Services
Other Categories of Employments and Emoluments – Special Cases 
Casual employees
Holiday Workers
 
Part-time Employees 
Overtime Payments
 
Bonus Payments, Commission, etc.
 
Lump sum, honorarium, and ex-gratia payments

 

BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES
Uniform and Laundry Benefits
Motor Vehicle Benefit

Accommodation/Housing Benefit 
Salespersons’ Travelling Allowance
Travelling for Other Employees Who Use Their Own vehicles for Company Business
Subsistence Allowance
 
Meal Allowance 
Entertainment

Tips, Prizes, Incentive Schemes, Awards etc., Cash Vouchers
Credit Cards
 
Telephone Expenses

Concessionary Loans
 
Gratuity under Approved Tourism Activities Scheme

 

SPECIAL CASES 
Pensioners

Disabled persons
 
Employees who cease to work for an employer
 
When an employee dies 
Directors
 
Income in Relation to Expatriates 
Non-Residents and Income Tax payable
 
Termination and Redundancy Payments and lump sum payments 
Treatment of Contributions to Superannuation Funds
 
Treatment of Loans to Employees (Study Leave)
 
Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP)
 
Payment in Week 53
 
Other Statutory Deductions

 

EDUCATION TAX
PAYE AUDITS, INTEREST AND PENALTIES

PAYE Audits
Interest
 
Penalties

APPENDIX I - How to Calculate Statutory Deductions (Example)

APPENDIX II - Value of Benefits Where Motor Vehicles are Provided for the Private Use of Employees 

APPENDIX III - Employees Entitled to Relief In Respect of Allowances for the Provision of Uniform and Laundry

APPENDIX IV - Key Tax Dates to Remember

APPENDIX V - Payroll Tables

 

 

Introduction

There are compelling legal requirements for employers to make statutory deductions from emoluments.  In order to comply, it is necessary for those involved to have a good understanding of all of the factors involved in this exercise. 

The operation of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system is based on the Income Tax Act and the Income Tax (Employment) Regulations. 

This Employers’ Guide seeks to provide a reference, which will embrace various facts of this important subject. This is a guide only and is not legally binding. 

The guide provides detailed information about a number of special subjects, which fall within PAYE, and gives guidance on the basic operation of the PAYE system. 

Should you at any time have doubts about any aspect of the PAYE System, please feel free to contact Tax Administration Jamaica’s (TAJ) Customer Care Centre 1-888-TAX-HELP (829-4357) or your local Revenue Service Centre/Tax Office for clarification. 

The Income Tax Act is available for purchase at:

The Jamaica Printing Services (1992) Ltd.

77 ½ Duke Street

Kingston.

 

Important Definitions

Act:                             The Income Tax Act

Commissioner:           Refers to the Commissioner General

Collector:                    The Collector of Taxes, c/o Tax Administration Jamaica/Revenue Service Centres                                                                        

Emoluments:              Means emoluments to which the Act applies, and references to payments of emoluments includes reference to payments on account of emoluments.  

Employee:                  Any person in receipt of emoluments.

Employer:                   Any person paying emoluments, whether on his own account or on behalf of another person.

Income Tax

Month:                       Every calendar month throughout the year of assessment.

Lump Sum:                 Any payment other than a periodical payment

IT06:                            Employer’s Annual Return form for summary of gross emoluments and deductions made for all employees (for years prior to 2011)

S02:                             Employer’s Annual Return form for the summary of gross emoluments and deductions, relating to NIS, NHT, Ed TAX and Income Tax, made for all employees (for years 2011 onwards)

S01:                             Employer’s Monthly Remittance form for paying deductions, relating to NIS, NHT, HEART, Ed TAX and Income Tax, made for all employees.

P24:                             Certificate of gross emoluments and tax deducted to date during the year.

P45:                             Certificate of gross emoluments and tax deducted up to point of leaving.

Relief from

Income Tax:                Includes non- taxable allowances and deductions.

Tax Deduction

Card:                           A tax deduction card is the form prescribed by the Commissioner General in any particular case.

Taxable

Emoluments:              Means emoluments reduced by:

  • Deductible expenses pursuant to section 13 of the Act as agreed with the Commissioner General.
  • An exemption or relief from tax pursuant to The Employee Share Ownership Plan Act (ESOP) and taken into account for the purposes of The Income Tax (Employments) Regulations, in a manner agreed with the Commissioner General.

Threshold/

Nil Rate:                      Although not specifically defined by the Income Tax Act, the threshold normally refers to that part of an individual’s statutory income which bears tax at zero rate/percent.

Statutory Income:     This is the aggregate amount of income of any person from all sources remaining after allowing for the appropriate deductions and exemptions given under The Income Tax Act.

Year of

Assessment:                For the purposes of PAYE the year of assessment means the calendar year January to December.  



THE PAYE SYSTEM DEFINED

PAYE (Pay As You Earn) is the system used for calculating and collecting Income Tax and other statutory deductions from payments made to employees. With this come certain obligations and duties of the employer.

PAYE applies to all fulltime employees, temporary and casual workers, contract workers, directors and pensioners.

 

Duties and Obligations of the Employer (Under the Income Tax Act)

The Income Tax Regulations in the Second Schedule of The Income Tax Act outlines the duties and obligations of the employer.  These are: 

  1. To calculate and deduct the tax.   Every employer, on making any payment of emolument during any year to any employee is to deduct the appropriate amount and record these on the PAYE deductions cards.
  2. To make timely payments of deductions to the Collector of Taxes.
  3. To deduct the correct amount of income tax from employees’ emoluments at the time that they are paid.  
  4. To remit all the above-mentioned deductions within 14 days of the month following the month in which the deductions have been made (for example, the deductions for January should be remitted by the fourteenth of February), using the S01 Employers’ Remittance Form. 

NB: It is not a requirement for the employer to use the department’s form, but any similar form generated by the employer is adequate. 

  1. To provide any employee leaving your employment during the year with a P45 (Certificate of Gross emoluments and Tax deducted to date). 
  2. To prepare a P24 (Certificate of Gross emoluments and Tax Deducted) for each employee at the end of each year.  This should be done and given to every employee every year.  
  3. To keep a record of the emoluments and all deductions made.  These records should be kept for up to six years. 
  4. To submit a return SO2 (formerly P35/ITO6) to Tax Administration Jamaica (Revenue Centers/Tax Office) at the end of the tax year showing total emoluments and deductions, no later than March 31 of the following Year of Assessment.  
  5. To refund tax overpaid during the year- If the employer has deducted more tax from an employee than he or she ought to have paid within the current year of assessment, the employer can refund the tax in the current year.  

      However, if this overpayment is for a past year of assessment or the return (SO2) had been filed and payments made before the discovery of the overpayment, the employer should inform Tax Administration Jamaica. 

 

Employer’s Duties outside of the Income Tax Act

  • To calculate amounts of Education Tax (Ed. Tax), National Housing Trust (NHT) and National Insurance Scheme Contributions (NIS), and all other statutory deductions that are deductible from the employees’ emoluments, and submit returns and payments to the relevant entity. 
  • To calculate the amount of HEART contributions and pay such amounts to the Collector of Taxes.  Employers are reminded that they are required to pay a matching portion of Education Tax, NHT and N.I.S. contributions at the respective rates.
  • Payments for PAYE Income Tax, Ed Tax, NHT, NIS, and HERT are to be made using the consolidated Employers’ Monthly Remittance of Payroll Deductions (S01 form).

 

Employer’s Annual Return of Income Tax Deductions:

  • At the end of the year, amounts claimed as salary should be summarized and recorded on the SO2 return (formerly P35/ITO6) and submitted to Tax Administration Jamaica - Revenue Service Center/Tax Office or to the National Housing Trust on or before March 31. 
  • The information set out on the SO2 and relevant schedules should include: 
    • Name of Employer and the Tax Registration Number (TRN)
    • Name and TRN of each employee
    • Gross emoluments and tax deducted
    • Details of all benefits including accommodation and tax deducted.
    • Any Refunds made to employee during the year.

 

What are Emoluments?

The term includes:

  • salaries,
  • wages,
  • overtime pay,
  • fees,
  • bonuses,
  • perquisites,
  • accommodation,
  • entertainment,
  • utilities and other benefits of employment in money, kind or otherwise,
  • all annuities, pensions, superannuation or other allowances payable in respect of past services in any office or employment of profit, whether legally due or voluntary, and
  • including lump sums paid in commutation or in lieu of a pension or other periodical superannuation payment, and
  • any payment of money made, or other valuable consideration given, to any person being the holder or past holder of any office or employment of profit in consideration for, or otherwise in connection with, the termination of the holding of that office or employment (otherwise than by death) or any change in its nature or terms,
    • or
    • any undertaking given by that person as to his future conduct, whether the payment is made to that person or to his relative or dependent (in which case it shall be treated as made to that person, unless he is dead, when it shall be treated as made to the recipient thereof);  
    • The term has also been extended to include payments made under a contract or arrangement where: 
    • One person is under obligation to render personal services to another whether on his own behalf; or on behalf of a company and
    • Where the person mentioned above is subject to supervision, direction or control by the other person as to the manner in which he renders those services and the remuneration for the services would not, except for these provisions, be treated as emoluments. (See Personal Service below) 

 

List of items included in emoluments: 

  • Salaries, wages, overtime, bonuses, commission, honoraria
  • Cash Allowances
  • Pay - in respect of sickness or absence from work
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Tips paid in addition to normal pay
  • Payment of travelling from home to an employee’s normal place of work
  • Entertainment allowance for domestic purposes
  • Uniform and laundry allowance paid to employees not in the exempt group.
  • Non-business amounts expended on a credit/debit card given to employee
  • Amounts paid to directors or employees for their domestic private expenses (school fees, groceries etc.)
  • Value of private use of motor cars given to employees
  • Benefits on concessionary loans
  • Contract of service payments in relation to individuals and contract of service for service companies.
  • Accommodation provided by employer 

List of items not included in emoluments: 

  • Material Allowance up to $72,000 per annum for Teachers in educational institutions, (however effective April 1, 2001, the teachers in public educational institutions have opted to receive the equivalent amount as part of their salaries and taxed accordingly).
  • Lump sum paid out of the Consolidated Fund.
  • Meal Allowances paid outside of normal working hours
  • Uniform and Laundry Allowances (if employees are in the exempt group not exceeding $5739 p.a. and $3395 p.a. respectively. (See Appendix III)
  • Gratuity of up to $29,104 (July – Dec ’09 $74,768) (prior to July1, 2009 $250,000) paid to certain employees in the tourist industry, provided that the emoluments of the employee do not exceed $500.000).
  • Rental of telephone and official calls where it is necessary for an employer to place a telephone in an employee’s home because of the nature of the job.
  • Expenses wholly and exclusively incurred to acquire the emoluments.


Exemptions to PAYE:

Under Section 12 of The Income Tax Act, the following are sources of income that are exempt from income tax:

  1. Emoluments paid to the Governor- General and an Acting Governor-General under any provisions of The Governor-General (Expenditure, Personal Staff, Tax Exemptions and Pensions) Act.
  2. Income derived from such wounds and disability pensions and war gratuities as the Minister may declare to be exempt from income tax.
  3. The emoluments paid from the United Kingdom funds or funds of any territory of the Commonwealth (other than this island) to members of Her Majesty’s Forces and to persons in the permanent service of the United Kingdom Government or of any territory of the Commonwealth in respect of their offices under the United Kingdom Government or such territory of the Commonwealth.
  4. The official salaries and emoluments of Consuls, Vice-Consuls and members of the permanent Consular services of foreign countries who are citizens of the countries they represent in respect of their offices or in respect of services rendered by them in their official capacities.
  5. The income derived from sources outside of the Island of any person arriving in the Island for the purpose of rendering technical assistance, where agreement is made with the Government concerned.
  6. Any amount paid to any person by Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom as compensation in respect of tax paid or payable by such person in respect of any emolument paid to such person by the Government of India or Pakistan.
  7. Any monies paid or income received, which is exempted from the payment of Income Tax by any enactment of the Island.
  8. The income arising from a scholarship, exhibition, bursary or any other similar educational endowment held by a person, receiving full time instruction at a university, college, school or other educational establishment.
  9. Such training expenses allowances as may be prescribed by the Commissioner General and which are payable out of monies provided by Parliament to persons who serve on a part time basis in the Jamaica National Reserve and payments from such monies by way of bounty to such persons in consideration of their undertaking prescribed training and attaining a prescribed standard of efficiency.
  10. An allowance to any person in the service of the Crown which is certified by the Minister to represent compensation for the extra cost of having to live outside the Island in order to perform his duties.
  11. Any education allowance to any person in the service of The Crown in Jamaica, which is made pursuant to an agreement between the Government of Jamaica and The Government of the United Kingdom under the Overseas Service Aid Scheme.
  12. Any material allowance to persons employed as teachers in an educational institution.
  13. A person who receives an income from a superannuation allowance or in the form of a pension under either a statutory pension scheme or a scheme for payment from a superannuation fund approved by the Commissioner General will be entitled to a Pensioner’s exemption of $80,000, and a person who is aged 65 and over will be entitled to an Age Exemption of $80,000.
  14. Income received pursuant to a productivity incentive scheme which is established in relation to such categories of employment as may be specified by The Minister by Order, and approved by the Minister for that purpose by the Minister.
  15. Income not exceeding $29,104 (July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009 $74,768.00) (prior to July 2009, $250,000.00) received pursuant to a gratuity scheme which is established in relation to such categories of employment as may be specified by the Minister by Order. (Now applies to the Tourism Sector).  Employees must not earn more than $500,000.00.
  16. The emoluments payable to an individual who is certified by the Minister responsible for social security, on the advice of The Chief Medical Officer to be:
    1. A person suffering from a disabling permanent physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement of indefinite duration, resulting from illness, injury or congenital defect; or 
    2. A person suffering from a disabling permanent mental handicap, but capable of being gainfully employed, 
    3. So, however, that the exception shall cease if that individual either, on such medical examination as the Minister responsible for social security may at any time require, is certified by The Chief Medical Officer to be no longer suffering from the physical handicap or mental handicap aforesaid or fails to submit such medical examination.

CONTRACTS
Persons may enter into contracts of varying kinds in order to render services. These include:

  • Contract of Service
  • Contract for Service
  • Contract for personal service

 

Contract of Service:

Once a Contract of Service is identified, then this means that the contract is one of employment.  The amounts paid under this contract are emoluments and therefore all statutory deductions are to be made e.g. Income Tax (tax); Education Tax; both employees’ and employers’ contributions, NHT, and NIS.

Under this contract arrangement a person (employee) is under an obligation to render personal services to another person (employer) and the: - 

  • Individual (employee) is subject to the supervision, direction and control of another person. 
  • Individual (employee) holds an integral position within the organization e.g. Accountant/Managing Director 
  • Individual (employee) does not conduct business on his account.
  • Contract is a legally binding exclusive service agreement between the performer and payer. 
  • Tools, materials and work place are provided by payer. 
  • Individual receives a payment of a fixed salary and reimbursement of the performer’s expenses by the payer. 
  • Performer receives vacation leave and any other staff related benefit. 
  • Performer is required to file regular, oral or written status reports with the payer. 

 

Contract for Services:

This contract represents an independent (business) and the individual is therefore responsible for his/her returns and payments under the self-assessment system, this applies to: 

  • An individual who is not subject to the supervision, direction and control of another person. 
  • An individual who does not hold an integral position within the organization. 
  • Individual who conducts business on his own account. 
  • The performer’s right to provide services to more than one person at a time with a separate contract between the performer and each payer. 
  • Performer provides his own equipment. 
  • Payment of a fixed amount or commission for the complete job rather than periodic payments. 
  • Performer assumes his/her own financial risk and has responsibilities for his/her investment and management. 

 

Personal Services: 

The definition of “Personal Services” includes services of a professional, clerical, Technical Administrative or Managerial nature”. 

  • Section 5(1) (c) (ix) of the Income Tax Act relates to contract for services with certain classification and only accounts for the withholding of Income tax and therefore does not apply to his statutory deductions.  The other statutory deductions would still be treated under the self- employed system. This can only be applied when personal services are rendered, and what would not otherwise be seen as emoluments are deemed to be emoluments. 
  • Since year 2001 if a person supplies personal services such personal services are subject to the income tax being deducted by the payer. 

 

Education Tax and Contracts of Personal Services

The question of whether Education Tax is to be deducted from payments for this type of service now remains.

The definition of ‘employment’ under the Education Tax Act, First Schedule is as follows: -

Employment in Jamaica under any contract of Service or apprenticeship written or oral and whether express or implied”.

Based on this interpretation of the Education Tax Act, the contract income of persons rendering personal services is subject to Education Tax, but the tax should not be withheld under Section 5(1) (c) (ix).  The employee who receives this income must make his return of Education Tax and make payment to Tax Administration Jamaica. (Please note that no matching payment is due from the deemed employer, that is, the person giving the contract).

 

Other Categories of Employments and Emoluments – Special Cases

 

Casual employees

PAYE applies to casual labourers in the same way as it does to regular employees. The income paid should be recorded and the threshold applied accordingly. All relevant statutory deductions should be made where applicable.

 

Holiday Workers

High school students (irrespective of age), full-time tertiary students and persons participating in youth service programs, should be given the cumulative threshold (nil rate) as at the date of employment, (if it is ascertained such persons were not employed during the year). This does not apply to students doing evenings or part-time work outside the normal holiday times.

(Employers need to request that the employee produces coding from TAJ. If this is not received, emoluments are to be taxed without the application of the threshold.)

 

Part- time Employees

Part-time employees should be taxed at 25% on all emoluments received without the application of the threshold. These persons should apply to the Commissioner for a refund if at December 31; the total income earned from all sources is below the threshold for that particular year.

 

Overtime Payments

Overtime payments are taxable in the same way as regular emoluments. The overtime amount is to be added to regular pay and the appropriate accumulative threshold applied.

 

Bonus Payments, Commission, etc.

These payments are subjected to statutory deductions in the same way as regular emoluments.

 

Lump sum, honorarium, and ex-gratia payments:

Lump sum payments include: 

  • Payments for loss of office (see Termination and Redundancy Payments page 37 in this booklet for computation of amount that should not be taxed.)  
  • Ex-gratia payments  
  • Payments in commutation or in lieu pensions (except commutation payments made through an approved Superannuation Scheme, or a scheme approved by the Commissioner General). 
  • The taxable portions of the above payments are subject to statutory deductions in the normal way. 
  • Terminal Gratuity paid by Government Entities/Statutory Bodies. 

 

When should a lump sum be not taxed?

Lump sum should not be taxed if it satisfies the following criteria:

  1. If the lump sum is paid from the Consolidated Fund, or payments are made out of a public fund or an account designated thus by the Minister of Finance, -  then such payments would not be subject to tax;  
  2. Lump sum paid as terminal gratuity in terms of the contract, for the stated contract period, and which is not periodic;
  3. Gratuity payments made by Government Entities/Statutory Bodies whose budget is not entirely financed from the Consolidated Fund, but the lump sum payments are clearly from a warrant  from the Consolidated Fund
  4. Lump-sum paid as terminal gratuity by Government Entities/Statutory Bodies whose annual budget is funded solely from the Consolidated Fund.
  5. If a Government Entity or Statutory Body, whose source of funding is not limited to that from the Consolidated Fund makes a lump sum payment, then this payment would be subjected to income tax – if it cannot be clearly shown that its source was from the Consolidated Fund.
  6. Where the contract period is 3 years or more, and the Gratuity payment is not from the Consolidated Fund, then the Regulations under the Income Tax (Termination of Employment Order) Act, should be used to determine the portion of the lump sum payment that should not be taxed. (See computation under Section on Termination of Employment in this booklet.)
  7. Where the contract period is less than 3 years… (e) Applies.

 

 

BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES

 

Uniform and Laundry Benefits:

Effective January1, 1995 uniform and laundry allowances have become taxable. There are certain categories of employees who are exempt from tax (see appendix III). However, the exemption limits the tax-free uniform allowance to $5,739 and the tax-free laundry allowance to $3395.

Effective August 1, 2009 where employers supply uniforms to employees, the benefit must be calculated as follows:

  • Where an employee falls in the exempt category and uniform is provided by the employer, the tax on the benefit is as follows:

Cost of uniform to employer:                    $10,000.00

Exempt amount                                         $   5,739.00

Excess amount (benefit to employee)      $   4,261.00

The benefit is now to be taxed as follows: $4,261 x 25% = $1,065.25

  • Where an employee does not fall in the exempt category, the calculation is as follows:

Cost of Uniform:                $10,000.00

Benefit to employee:        $10,000.00 x 25%= $2,500.00

Tax on Benefit                   $ 2,500.00



Motor Vehicle Benefit:

Where a Company provides a fully maintained Motor Vehicle for the business and private use of its Employees, use the schedule provided in Appendix II to determine the taxable benefit and compute the statutory deductions.

 

Accommodation/Housing Benefit:

  • Where cash payments are made whether to a third-party Landlord or to the employee the total amount paid for the allowance is subject to income tax at 25% 
  • Where the employer is the Landlord for the accommodation the value of the accommodation shall be deemed to be the market value of the said accommodation.
  • Where the employee is provided with accommodation on the same premises where the employment is exercised or resides elsewhere and it can be established that it is necessary for the employee to have that accommodation for the exercise of his employment; the employee shall be taxed on an amount not exceeding thirty percent (30%) of his gross emoluments excluding the cost/value of the accommodation.
  • Where the employee occupies premises owned or operated by any exempt body as defined in Section 12(h) of the Income Tax Act; the income tax is computed on thirty percent (30%) of the gross emoluments excluding the cost/value of the accommodation. Should the reduced rate given to churches be mentioned here? Yes.
Effective August 1, 2009 the following is applicable

Example:

Salary                    $100,000.00

Rent Benefit          $  40,000.00

Taxable benefit     $100,000.00 x 30% = $30,000.00

NB. The $30,000.00 are emoluments and therefore subject to PAYE and all other statutory deductions.

 

Salespersons’ Travelling Allowance:

Salespersons that are paid as commissioned sales agents may get a determined tax-free travelling allowance. The following procedure should be followed: 

  • The salesperson should complete the PO1 and Schedule 3 forms and take to the Tax Administration Jamaica, Refunds Unit, 116 East Street Kingston, along with his last Pay Slip showing clearly his basic pay, commission received and any travelling received.
  • At the time of application, the Commissioner General will give a determined rate based on the projected income of the salesperson, in addition to the tax free threshold. This determination will be supplied to the employer and employee and the amount is to be applied to the income of the employee by the employer before any tax is deducted.  
  • At the end of the year the salesperson is required to submit his final return on the ITO1 form. The salesperson’s P24 and The Schedule of Actual Income and Expenditure should accompany this form for that particular year. This may result in a refund or additional assessment based on the actual sums presented.

NB. This is to be done annually as the determined rate is applicable/valid for only one year.

 

Travelling for Other Employees Who Use Their Own vehicles for Company Business:

With respect to other employees who are genuine travelling officers required to travel on the job and use their own vehicles for the business of the company, an application must made by the employer on behalf of these employees for permission/approval from Tax Administration Jamaica for an allowance for wear and tear, and travelling in respect of the motor vehicle (non-taxable traveling allowance).

The employer must prove to the Commissioner General that such persons are using the vehicles to perform the job. The employer should apply to the Commissioner General stating: 

  • The position of the employee(s)
  • The salary attached to the position
  • The scope of travel (areas travelled)
  • Purpose of travel
  • Proposed amount of travelling to be paid.

 

Subsistence Allowance:

This is payment made to employees for actual expenses incurred or in lieu of actual expenditure.

These amounts are reimbursable expenses and as a result would not be considered as a benefit and would not be taxed. Payments made to employees, that are termed subsistence allowances, should be paid at a scale rate, which no more than reimburses the employee for the actual expenditure. 

  • The Commissioner General must approve the scale for the payments to be classified as tax-free.
  • Subsistence in any other form is taxable.

 

Meal Allowance:

Lunch vouchers issued to employees that are quantifiable to a specific employee are taxable as emoluments. Where the Company has a canteen, or a subsidized lunch programme and the amounts are not quantifiable and traceable to a particular employee, the tax in not imposed in these circumstances.

Where the lunch vouchers provided to an employee or any member of his family, are quantifiable, the full amount is subject to tax and forms as part of the employees emoluments.

Meal allowance paid to employees for work done outside of normal working hours is not taxable.  However, the Commissioner General must be satisfied that the sum paid is reasonable.

 

Entertainment:

The amounts paid with respect to this item should be considered as an emolument to the employee and all relevant taxes should be withheld, unless it falls under the definition of business entertainment as set out in Section 13(8) of The Income Tax Act.

Business entertainment as defined by The Income Tax Act:

(a)    ’means entertainment (including hospitality of any kind) provided by a person, or by a member of his staff, in connection with a trade, business, profession, employment or vocation carried on by that person, but does not include anything provided by him for members of his staff unless its provision for them is incidental to its provision also for others;

(b)    any reference to expenses incurred in providing business entertainment includes a reference to expenses incurred in providing anything incidental thereto, and any reference to the members of a person’s staff includes references to persons employed by that person, and, in the case of a company, directors of the company or persons engaged in the management thereof whether or not employees of the company.’

 

Tips, Prizes, Incentive Schemes, Awards etc., Cash Vouchers:

Employees are taxable on these receipts. Awards may be made in cash, goods, and holidays.  Cash award vouchers that can be exchanged for cash are to be treated as emoluments and taxed accordingly.

 

Credit Cards:

  • Under Section 5 of The Income Tax Act, any payments made with respect to credit cards should be considered as emoluments to the employee unless it can be proven that the credit card was used for the purpose of acquiring income for the business.  
  • Where the employee has a personal credit card and the employer pays all the expenses relating to the card, the amounts paid by the employer will be considered as emoluments of the employee and taxed accordingly. 
  • Where the company provides the employee with a credit card and it is used solely for the purpose of business entertainment, then it is not an emolument and all expenditure should be treated as allowable for the business for tax purposes.
  • Where the company provides the credit card and the employee uses the card for both business and personal reasons, then the amounts that are personal will be considered as emoluments and subject to the relevant taxes. 
  • Where the employee has a personal card and the employer pays all the expenses related to the card and these expenses are of a personal nature then the amounts paid will be taxable as emoluments for tax purposes.

 

Telephone Expenses:

  • Under Section 5 of The Income Tax Act, where it is necessary for the employer to place in the employee’s residence a telephone due to the nature of his job, then the company shall not treat the payment of the rental and all official calls made as emoluments.
  • Any other form of telephone expense, which is incurred as such, will be considered as emoluments.  These expenses will include all cellular telephone bills paid by the employer on behalf of the employee and the calls made on the said telephone are private in nature.
  • In the event where calls of a business nature made on a private telephone are paid by the employer, then this is not an emolument but can be claimed by the business as an expense wholly and exclusively incurred to earn the income.

 

Concessionary Loans:

Employees of specified Financial Institutions will be assessed on emoluments from the benefits of the cash equivalent of the difference between the interest payable on loan (s) at the prescribed rate at 18%  (January 1, 1999- September 2002) and 14% ( effective October 1, 2002) and the interest payable at the concessionary rate.

Specified Financial Institutions for this purpose are as follows:

  • Bank of Jamaica
  • Merchant Banks
  • Development Banks
  • Insurance Companies
  • Building Societies licensed under The Building Societies Act
  • Trust Companies
  • Any other institution licensed under the Banking Act or Financial Institutions Act, as the case may be.

Only loans up to a maximum of $1,500,000, if used for the following purposes will be exempt:

  • Purchasing house for owner occupancy
  • Purchasing a motor vehicle for private use
  • Purchasing land
  • Education
  • Training
  • Emergency needs (compassionate loan)
  • Furnishing of residence for owner occupation.

 

Gratuity under Approved Tourism Activities Scheme:

Tax-free gratuity is the amount paid to employees from an Approved Gratuity Scheme, which must not exceed ten percent (10%) of the Hotel’s sales in a calendar year.

There are three key conditions to be met, before a tax free Gratuity can be paid -

  • The entity must be licensed under the Tourist Board Act, as a licensed Tourist accommodation.
  • The entity must have from the Ministry of Finance, an Approved Gratuity Scheme.
  • Gratuity from which tax free payments are made must not exceed 10% of sales which refer to the cost of food, beverage, accommodation and other supplies to these customers.   

The amount to be paid without deduction of tax is capped at $250,000 per annum for each employee.

All employees are entitled to gratuity. However, as at July 1, 2000 any employee, who is in receipt of emoluments of more than $500,000 per annum, is not entitled to a tax free gratuity. This means that employers must deduct income tax and other statutory deductions from such gratuity paid to the employee.

The gratuity of $250,000 does not have to be pro-rated as is done with the threshold, but if the employee leaves the employment, the appropriate certificate (P45) should reflect payments made to date.

If an employee earns below the threshold, the employer can use the remaining amount against the taxable gratuity

This will cease in January 2013 when the income tax threshold (nil rate) is increased to $507,312 as the threshold will be greater than the gratuity benefit.

 

 

SPECIAL CASES

 

Pensioners:

If a pension is paid to an employee, the normal threshold should be applied. In order for the pensioner to get the additional $80,000 exemption from income tax pension and the age exemption (for individuals 65 years old and over) of $80,000 this person will have to apply, in writing, to Tax Administration Jamaica - Refunds Unit for the approval.

Pension on retirement shall not be treated as a cessation of employment for the purposes of the Income Tax Regulations if the same person pays the emoluments both before and after retirement.

Pension income of British Subjects living in Jamaica is taxable in Jamaica. Under the double taxation treaty with Britain, the pensioner may apply to The Inland Revenue Department in Britain for the relevant form (Form X). This form should be completed and sent to Tax Administration Jamaica, which will forward same to the British authorities indicating that Jamaica will collect the tax and therefore the pension will be exempted in Britain and taxed only in Jamaica.

The social security payments received in Jamaica from Canada under the Pension Act should not be taxed in Jamaica as long as they are not subjected to tax in Canada, but other pensions, workplace related pensions are taxable.

In the case of The United States of America (USA), social security payments and other public payments paid to a resident of Jamaica is not taxable in Jamaica, but may be taxed in the USA.

 

Disabled persons:

The emoluments payable to an individual who is certified by the Minister responsible for social security, on the advice of The Chief Medical Officer, to be a person who is disabled are not taxable (See Exemptions above for further guide)

 

Employees who cease to work for an employer: 

If the employer ceases to employ an employee in respect of whom the employer has deducted tax within a specific year, then the employer shall make on a prescribed form, (P45) three copies/sections of the said certificate and shall deliver one to Tax Administration Jamaica and two to the employee on the day on which the employment ceases. 

If the employee leaves the previous employment within the year, then he may apply to the Commissioner General for a refund using the P45 along with the completion of P1 and P22 forms which are available at the Revenue Service Centers, Collector of Taxes or Tax Administration Jamaica. The refund hinges on whether or not the employee was paid in excess of the tax free threshold for the year in question.  

If the employee finds employment, immediately on commencing his next employment the employee shall deliver the two copies of the certificate to his new employer, who shall, send a copy to Tax Administration Jamaica. The employer should prepare a tax deduction card in accordance with the particulars given in the copies of the certificate, and record on the card the cumulative emoluments, the cumulative tax-free emoluments, any benefits, perquisites or facilities provided for the employee (whether in money or otherwise) and the corresponding cumulative tax as at the week or month shown in copies of the certificate. 

Employees who do not take a P45 to the new employment should only be given the threshold for that week or month where applicable. The accumulative year-to-date amount should not be applied.  

 

When an employee dies:

The employer should try to get the name of the personal representative. If there are emoluments due, when this is paid to the representative, the tax is to be deducted at the rate due at the date of payment. A statement should be given to this person showing the total emoluments to date and statutory deductions made (similar to a P45).

If payment is made in any subsequent Year of Assessment, the threshold should be applied in relation to the year in which the payment was due.  

 

Directors:

When remuneration is made to a director the payment should be the earliest of the following:

  • When the actual payment is made.
  • When the director becomes entitled to be paid, whether payment is made or not.
  • When the payment is credited in the company’s accounts or records, even if the director cannot draw on it straight away.

All payroll deductions should be computed at this time. If the payment is not expensed then there is no need to apply the statutory deductions.

 

Income in Relation to Expatriates: 

These persons are seen as not normally domiciled or ordinarily resident in Jamaica, but have been assigned to work for a period in Jamaica.

If the period of stay in Jamaica exceeds 183 days then these persons are resident for income tax purpose and PAYE operated in the normal way.

In the year the expatriate’s term expires and the employer has deducted too much income tax, then his employee may apply to Tax Administration Jamaica for a refund of the tax. The refund may be processed within 3 days, if the employee presents the completed ITO5 form along with his P45, and the ticket of departure, with evidence of the termination of contract.

The Department will supply the expatriate with a certificate of tax deducted in Jamaica, should this be required for the individual to file returns in the country to which the expatriate is ordinarily resident (this is subject to any double taxation treaty or reciprocal arrangement being in existence). 

 

Non-Residents and Income Tax payable: 

Non-Residents are persons who spend less than six months in the year in Jamaica.

Non-residents are liable for PAYE Tax on any income for work performed in the Island of Jamaica.

Jamaicans who are living temporarily abroad and maintain residences in Jamaica, are deemed resident in Jamaica for purposes of the Act.

Non-Residents, who are not domiciled in Jamaica or are British Commonwealth citizens not ordinarily resident in Jamaica, are taxable in Jamaica only on income received in Jamaica, (even if it is a source not in Jamaica). If the individual spends more than 3 months in Jamaica in any one (1) year, the individual is taxable on income for work done in Jamaica or elsewhere if the work is related to Jamaica.

It should be noted that Jamaica has double taxation treaties with several countries, which should eliminate the possibilities of the same income been taxed in both countries. 

Persons attached to Jamaica Consulates and Statutory Bodies who live abroad and receive emoluments from Jamaican entities are taxable in Jamaica. 

 

Termination and Redundancy Payments and lump sum payments: 

When an individual’s employment is terminated, the terms of payments as they relate to entitlement to tax free payment, are governed by the Employment (Termination and Redundancy Payment) Act.

This guide does not seek to explain how the entitlement works; it will only explain how to calculate the amount that should not be taxed.

The Income Tax (Termination of Employments) Order 1971, determines what should not be taxed when a payment is made.

Payment in lieu of notice, sick pay and vacation pay should not be calculated as a part of the Redundancy amount, but will be part of the Redundancy package. Statutory deductions should be applied to these payments in the normal way, as well as the portion of the redundancy payment that is not exempt.

The formula to be used to calculate the tax-free portion is for example:

 

2 ¼ x Average Salary for the last 3 Years x number of Years of Service

33 1/3 Years                                 

Salary in Year 10 (June 2006 - May 2007)      $1,200,000

Salary in Year   9 (June 2005 - May 2006)      $1,000,000

Salary in Year   8 (June 2004 - May 2005)      $   980,000

 

Total                                                               $3,180,000

Average Salary for last 3 Years   -                  $3,180,000 = $1,060,000

                      3

Use the formula for the tax-free portion, the amount is:

2 ¼ x $1,060,000 x 10 Years’ Service      =      $715,500

33 1/3   

Total Redundancy payment                            $1,000,000

Less tax free portion                                       $    715,500

Taxable amount                                              $    284,500

Tax payable 284,500 x 25%                            $      71,125

Payment to be made to Employee    $1,000,000-$71,125   =   $928,875

 

Treatment of Contributions to Superannuation Funds:

Employed Persons

Section 13(i) allows persons who are employees of an Organization to deduct 10% of their remuneration as a contribution to an approved superannuation scheme when ascertaining chargeable income. However where the employer contributes less than 10%, the employee may contribute the difference between the employers’ actual contribution and the maximum contribution payable by the employer.

Self – Employed Persons and Sales Representatives

Section 13(u) governs contributions by self-employed individuals to an approved retirement schemes. This section allows sales representatives who are deemed to be self-employed to contribute not more than 20% of their chargeable income, and treat same as an allowable deduction prior to the calculation of tax. Based on the foregoing, these contributions are to be calculated on net and not gross commissions.

 

Treatment of Loans to Employees (Study Leave):

Conditions for Treating Payment to an Employee during Study Leave as a Loan 

The employee is not entitled to leave or earned vacation leave during the period for which the payment is to be treated as a loan.  Any emoluments paid during any period of this study leave are subject to taxes and contributions: 

  • The employee is bonded to work for a specified period in the employer’s service after the expiration of the leave. 
  • The loan or part thereof is to be repaid if the employee leaves the employment before the end of the specified period. 
  • There should be the usual procedures done for the loan to be legal, (i.e. registered and stamped) 
  • Any salary increase during the period of training should be provided for in the agreement or an annex to the loan.  If this is not done, any sums paid over and above the loan specified should be treated as emoluments and therefore subject to taxes and contributions. 
  • If the employee suffered tax on this loan a claim for refund can be made. 
  • Where the employer granting the loan is subject to income tax, and the amounts paid to the employee is treated as emoluments (i.e. salary) and as a deductible expenses in determining taxable income, any sum determined to be a loan to the employee should not be allowed as a deductible expense, (if it is expensed then a refund cannot be made.)

Requirements to file for refund for employees on study leave:

  • Letter of award of study leave. 
  • Certificates of pay (P24) for the calendar year of the period that is affected by the Study Leave 
  • Loan agreement 
  • Resumption letter endorsed by the employer 
  • Completed returns (IT05) for years affected by the Study Leave. 

NB The loan agreement must be acceptable to the Commissioner General and meet all requirements of a legal document.

 

Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP):

Contributions to ESOP’s are allowed as deductions from income.

 

Payment in Week 53:

If employees are paid weekly or fortnightly, and a payment falls when there is a 53rd week, this week is to be treated as week one.  In the following week in the New Year the process restarts.

 

Other Statutory Deductions:

The employer is obligated to deduct and pay over to the relevant authorities all statutory deductions. See rates in Appendix V.

The other statutory deductions are:

  • National Insurance Scheme contribution’s (NIS)
  • National Housing Trust Contributions (NHT)
  • Education Tax (Ed. Tax)

Human Resource Training (HEART) contributions are also due but is based on a charge on total emoluments.

 

 

EDUCATION TAX

NB: This Guide will not be going in details about the other deductions (except for Ed. Tax), as they are administered by other entities. Kindly contact the local offices for guidance.

Education Tax:

  • Employers should deduct Ed. Tax at the rate of 2.25% from the pay of employees after the deduction of NIS, Superannuation and any contribution to ESOP schemes. Education Tax is payable by employees between the ages of 18 and 65.  
  • Amounts are due and payable to the Collector of Taxes in the local Revenue Service Centres/Tax Offices. 
  • At the end of the year a Employers Annual Return (S02) should be filed by March 31, with details of:

     

                        Employers TRN name, and address

                        Year of Return

                        Employee’s gross salary

                        The 2.25% of employee’s and 3.5% of and employer’s deductions respectively.

NB. Government Ministries, Departments, Parish Councils, Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation and the University of the West Indies, are not required to pay employer’s education tax.

 

 

PAYE AUDITS, INTEREST AND PENALTIES

 

When there is a PAYE Audit:

  • The employer may be audited at any time for the accuracy of the return.
  • Where a PAYE audit results in additional tax, this additional tax is deemed to be an assessment. The auditor will convey the details of the assessment to the employer.
  • The assessment will be issued to the employer on a certificate on behalf of the employees.  The employer would have thirty (30) days from the date of the notice in which to object.
  • This assessment is subjected to interest and penalty (See section below on Interest and Penalty). 

 

Interest & Penalty (PAYE Tax)

 

Interest:

  • Under the Income Tax Act, Section 79(1) (b), interest is charged from the day after the date of collection, as defined in Section 78(4), until the date of payment on all outstanding amounts under this Act.
  • The Commissioner General (TAJ) is empowered to remit in whole or in part the interest, if the Commissioner General is satisfied and accept the supported reasonable explanation by the taxpayer.
  • Interest is twenty percent (20%) per annum effective April 1, 2010
  • Only the Minister of Finance can remit PAYE taxes. 

NB.  Interest is also calculated on increase of tax (penalty), as the increase of tax is to be added and become part of the assessment.

 

Penalty:

  • Section 41(1) stipulates that any person required by this Act to deduct tax on the payment by him of any sum and pay or account for the same to the Commissioner General of Tax Administration Jamaica or any other person shall make the said payment of tax, or render the said account, or do both, as his duty may require, within fourteen (14) days after the end of the calendar month in which the first mentioned payment was made, whether or not tax was in fact deducted from that payment.
  • Section 41(2)(a) states that where a person fails to pay over tax deducted at source (e.g. PAYE deductions), these deductions shall be increased at the rate of fifty-percent (50%) per annum from the day after the date on which payment should have been made. 
  • Where an employer does not submit PAYE deductions to the Collector of Taxes by the due date, the late payments attract increase of tax (penalty) of fifty percent per annum.  This increase of tax (penalty) may only be remitted in whole or part by the Minister of Finance.
  • Where the tax was not deducted by the employer, he shall be treated as if the tax was increased at such rate, not exceeding fifty percent (50%) as the Commissioner General may direct, [Section 41(2)(b)], i.e. the Commissioner General may determine a rate between (0 – 50%).

 

APPENDIX I

How to Calculate Statutory Deductions (Example)

Salary and other Emoluments

Year 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

Salary

 

 

 

 703,500

 

(Per annum)

Travelling

 

 

 

   90,000

 

 

Gross Emolument

 

 

 793,500

 

 

Deduct

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIS 2.5%

To a maximum of

1,000,000

- 19,837.5

 

 

Superannuation

 

10%

- 79,350

 

 

Taxable Income

 

 

694,312.5

 

 

Less Tax at nil rate (Threshold)

 

-441,168

 

 

Balance

 

 

 

253,144.5

 

 

Income Tax at 25%

 

 

63,286.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NHT 2%of Gross Emoluments

15,870

 

 

 

Ed. Tax 2% of Taxable Income

13,886.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gross Pay Salary and Travelling Allowance

793,500

 

 

Less

Deduct NIS

 

-19,837.5

 

 

 

Deduct Income Tax

 

-63,286.13

 

 

 

Deduct Superannuating

-79,350

 

 

 

NHT

 

 

-15,870

 

 

 

Ed. Tax

 

 

-13,886.25

 

 

 

Net Pay for Year

 

 

601,270.12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX II

Value of Benefits Where Motor Vehicles are Provided for the Private Use of Employees 

 Original Cost of

Motor Vehicle

($)

 Age of Motor Vehicle

(a) Under 5 years

(b) 5 years or more

Usage During Year

Up to 50% Private Use ($)

Over 50%

Private Use ($)

Up to 50% private Use $)

Over 50%

Private Use ($)

Up to 300,000

40,000.00

48,000.00

30,000.000

36,000.00

Over 300,000 - 700,000

50,000.00

60,000.00

40,000.00

48,000.00

Over 700,000- 1,000,000

75,000.00

80,000.00

60,000.00

65,000.00

Over 1,000,000 - 1,500,000

90,000.00

100,000.00

72,000.00

80,000.00

Over 1,500,000

120,000.00

140,000.00

98,000.00

100,000.00

Example: Original cost of motor vehicle over $300,000 - $700,000 under 5 years old and up to   50% private use.

 Taxable benefit on motor vehicle      $50,000.00

 Tax thereon 25% per annum            $12,500.00

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX III

Employees Entitled to Relief In Respect of Allowances for the Provision of Uniform and Laundry

  • Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Island Special Constabulary Force and Jamaica Defence Force
  • Members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade
  • Persons registered under the Dental Act, medical Act, Opticians Act, Veterinary Act, Profession Supplementary to Medicine Act and Nurses and Midwives Act
  • Porters employed in hospitals
  • Correctional Officers
  • Attorneys-at-law
  • Resident Magistrates
  • Judges
  • Customs Officers
  • Air Traffic Controllers
  • Postal Workers employed in the delivery of mail
  • Teachers required to wear protective clothing
  • Drivers and Conductors of Public passenger Vehicles
  • The staff on an airline company
  • Port workers
  • Attendants at petroleum filling stations
  • Messengers
  • Drivers
  • Watchmen
  • Private Security Guards
  • Cleaners
  • Gardeners
  • Workers employed in the hospitality or manufacturing industry, restaurants, agriculture, mining, or in refrigerated facilities.
  • Other employees approved by the Commissioner, having regard to paragraph (i) (B) of the proviso to section
  • 5(1) (c) of the Act.

 

 

APPENDIX IV

Key Tax Dates to Remember

 January 1 & December 31

The beginning and the ending of the tax year respectively.

 March 15th

The last day to file return and pay Income Tax due on the return

14th of each Month

The last date for remitting Income Tax, and Education Tax deducted from the previous month, to the Inland Revenue Department.

 March 31st

The last date for sending in the End of Year PAYE returns to the Revenue Service Centres/Tax Offices of Tax Administration Jamaica or NHT Branch Office.

September 30th

 

Last date for sending details of Income & Expenditure Statement & P01 forms for salespersons. (Date determined by the Commissioner).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX V

Payroll Tables

National Insurance

ED. TAX

PAYE Income Tax

Calculated on Gross Pay

Calculated on gross wages (after NIS and Pension)

Calculated on gross taxable wages (after NIS, Pension and ESOP)

Wage ceiling is $1,000,000 p.a. effective August 2, 2010 (max. payable $25,000 p.a., $2,083.33 p. m or $480.76 p. w.)

Wage ceiling is $500,000 p.a., as of July 2003 (max. payable $12,500 p.a., $1041.66 p. m or $240.38
p. w.)

Wage ceiling was $250,000 p.a. as of 5 February 1996 (max. payable $6,250 p.a., $520.83 p.m. or $120.19 p.w.)

Prior to 5 February 1996 wage ceiling was $15,080 (Max. payable $377.00 p.a., $31.40 p.m. or $7.25 p.w.)

Rate

Employer – 2 ½ %
Employee – 2 ½%

Expatriate – 2 ½ %

Self-Employed (not liable as an employed person)

Flat rate   - $20p.w., the yearly aggregate of which shall be taken into account when assessing liability to pay at 5% of total yearly emoluments.
Wage related - 5% p.w.

Wage related – 5%*
Voluntary Contributor - $20 p.w.
Domestic worker - $10 p.w.
JDF Office           - $10 p.w.

Penalties – 20% interest p.a.

Retirement age
Man            Woman
65yrs            60 yrs**
(if retired from regular employment)    OR
70 yrs            65 yrs
(whichever occurs first)

 

Rates:
Employer           - 3%
Employee          - 2%
Self-employed  - 2%
Expatriates
Domestic Worker between Ages 18 &Retirement age – 20 cents p.w.
    
        
Self-employed who works for less than minimum wage  - Nil
   

Retirement age:

65yrs for employed persons.

No age limit for self- employed persons.

Employer’s portion for Government Ministries, Departments, Parish Councils, Kingston & St. Andrew Corporation, University of the West Indies - Nil

 

 Rates:
25% on individuals (since 1993)

Year                        Nil Rate Band                 Tax Rate
1986-88                      $8,580                         33 1/3 %
1989-91                      $10,400                       33 1/3 %
1992                           $14,352                       33 1/3 %
1993                           $18,408                       25%
1994                           $22,464                       25%
1995                           $35,568                       25%
1996                           $50,544                       25%
1997-98                      $80,496                       25%
1999-2000                  $100,464                    25%                               2000-04                       $120,432                    25% 2005                             $144,768                   25%
2006                             $193,440                   25%
2007                             $193,440                   25%
2008                             $193,440                   25%           
2009                             $270,504                   25%

2010                             $441,168         25%, 27.5%, 35%

2011                             $441,168                   25%

2012                             $441,168                   25%

 

Pensioners’ Exemption:

1986 - 1993                        $15,000

1994 - 2008                        $45,000

2009                                   $62,500

2010 onwards                   $80,000

Age Exemption (65 yrs & over):

1986-93                              $15,000

1994 - 2008                       $45,000

2009                                   $62,500

2010 onwards                  $80,000

Retirement Age:

55yrs if a pensioner or permanently incapacitated; or 65 yrs whichever occurs first

Penalties

20% interest p.a.
50% penalty p.a.

 

 

 

 

 



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