Property Tax

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All residential and commercial properties are subject to tax in Jamaica. Get all the information about land taxes.

Property Tax is a tax levied on property owners to provide revenue for the provision of public &community amenities provided by the local government.It is charged on the unimproved value of the land.


Understanding unimproved value

  1. In relation to unimproved land the capital sum which the land might be expected to realize if offered for sale on such reasonable terms and conditions as a bona fide seller would require;
  2. In relation to improved land the capital sum which the land might be expected to realize if offered for sale on such reasonable terms and conditions as a bona fide seller would require, assuming that at the time the value is to be determined the improvements do not exist.

 

Payment date for Property Tax


Property Tax is due and payable on the 1st of April in each year. Payments canbe made annually, biannually or quarterly as follows:

Annually:
April 1st
Biannually:
April 1st October 1st
Quarterly: April 1st July 1st October 1st January 1st


NB. Payments made after the 30th of April are considered late.Such payments will attract a ten percent (10%) penalty. Amounts unpaid after thirty (30) days from the 30th of April will attract a further fifteen percent (15%)penalty per annum.

 

Properties Exempt from Property Tax

  1. All buildings and lands held in trust exclusively for public religious worship or for religious worship and for use as classrooms, together with the lands immediately attached to them used as churchyards or burial grounds.
  2. All buildings and lands belonging to any church used as rectories,caretaker cottages or church halls together with the lands immediately attached to them so long as the area of the so exempt does not exceed one (1) acre.
  3. All buildings and lands used solely for charitable or educational purposes and supported solely by charitable or missionary funds.
  4. All buildings and lands belonging to and used by the University of the West Indies and the Council of Legal Education.
  5. All buildings and lands belonging to Primary Schools; Secondary Schools receiving any payment out of the Consolidated Fund; and Commercial Schools or Preparatory Schools with not less than twelve scholars in average attendance.
  6. All buildings and lands belonging to schools approved by the Ministry of Education.
  7. All buildings and lands belonging to the Government of Jamaica.
  8. All buildings and lands belonging to private hospitals approved by the Minister.
  9. All buildings and lands belonging to any social, charitable or cultural organization approved by the Minister.

 Calculating Property Tax


Properties with an unimproved value of up to J$100,000.00 will be charged a flat rate of J$1,000.00.
Properties with values exceeding J$100,000.00 up to J$1,000,000.00 will attract an additional 1.5% for every additional dollar above J$100,000.00. Properties with values exceeding J$1,000,000.00 will attract an additional 2.0% for every additional dollar.

 

Payment Options


Paying Online
:
The most convenient option is to pay online via the Tax Portal at www.jamaicatax-online.gov.jm. It is recommended that property owners use this alternative as it gives them access, both locally and from overseas, to make payments on a 24 hour basis from their homes, offices and elsewhere using a credit card.This means NO MORE WAITING IN LINE.

 

To log on to the Tax Portal persons need to enter their username and password. Once logged into the system,persons should then select the option Pay Property Tax and follow the instructions to make payment. A reference number will be generated at the end of the transaction, which can be saved or printed for your records.Online users should ensure that they have the valuation number(s) of the property(s) available. This can be seen on a property tax notice, even an old one or on a previous property tax receipt. The information may also be provided by calling the TAJ’s Customer Care Centre at 1-888-TAX-HELP.

 

Paying Inline: Customers may visit any of the 29 tax offices located across the island to make payments, using cash, credit or debit cards. Additionally, the King Street, Cross Roads, Constant Spring, Montego Bay, Spanish Town and Savanna-La-Mar Tax Offices are equipped with electronic drop boxes which may be used to make payments by cheque. Please note the Valuation number(s) is also necessary when using this option.

 

Our offices are open from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Mondays to Wednesdays and from 8:00 am – 3:00 Thursday and Fridays. Additionally, the Portmore Tax Office opens on Saturdays between the hours of 10:00am to 4:00pm.

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Paying at outstations: During the months of April to June, TAJ normally conducts “out-station” operations, particularly in the rural areas. Details of schedules and venues are available from the local tax offices. However, “out-station”operations only accommodate non-cash transaction; therefore ONLY debit or Debit cards will be accepted. Areceipt will be given for ALL payments made.

 

Calculating Property Tax on Stratas


All the units in a Strata Corporation are covered by one (1) valuation number. According to the Registration of Strata Titles Act, owners of strata units and the corporation are jointly and severally liable for all property taxpayable in respect of that parcel. Therefore what happens is that the name of the first owner, that is the owner of lot one (1), will appear on the property tax data base. This means that the Collector of Taxes can recover any outstanding property tax for an entire strata complex from an individual strata lot owner. It is therefore important that property owners in Strata Corporations ensure that other owners pay their respective amounts due.

 

Notwithstanding, an individual property owner can determine or calculate what portion of the total property tax fora given strata is related to them. To do this they need to first understand that:

  • In the Strata Corporation all the units are covered by one valuation number.
  • The title for each individual strata lot owner bears the strata lot number, the unit entitlement and the total entitlement, that is, the sum of all the individual unit entitlements.
  • The unit entitlement is used to determine the quantum of individual shares in the property and calculate taxes for the individual strata lot.

Method of calculating property tax payment for each strata lot:

To calculate the taxes for an individual strata lot, the following formula is applied:

Formula:             

Individual unit entitlement x Tax obligation of the entire property
Total unit entitlement

 

                

 Example of Property Tax for Strata Lot # 6:

 Individual unit entitlement =
12
 Total unit entitlement =
150
 Total obligation for a tax year =
$20,750.00


 Calculation for Strata Lot # 6
     

12
150 x 20,750 = $1,660.00

 
The owner of strata lot # 6 would be required to pay $1,660.00 as their individual share of the property tax due onthe total strata property.

 

Payments may be made online at www.jamaicatax-online.gov.jm or at any of the 29 Tax Offices.  For online payments follow these steps once you know the individual portion of Property Tax:

  1. Log on to the Tax Portal, then enter username and password to gain access to pay.
  2. Select the option Pay Property Tax.
  3. Enter the Valuation Number and select the Fiscal Year.
  4. Enter name of owner and strata lot/apt numberin the box Paid By.
  5. Overwrite the amount which will be automatically displayed and enter the amount to be paid.
  6. Select recalculate.
  7. Follow the other instructions to make payment, entering credit card information.

At the end of the transaction, a Statement of Payment with reference number will be generated, which can be saved or printed for the individual property owner’s records.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Property Tax

 

Q. What is property tax?
A. Property Tax is a charge levied on all property in Jamaica.

Q.  Who pays property tax?

  A.  All persons in possession of land; such a person is defined by the Property Tax Act as the owner, occupier, mortgagee in possession or other person in actual possession of such property.

Q.  Are any property owners exempt from paying property tax?
A .  The following categories of land are exempt from the payment of Property Tax:

    • Buildings exclusively used for religious worship, churches yards, burial grounds and Rectories,
    • Educational institutions and properties owned by the Council of Legal Education,
    • Government-owned lands,
    • Lands owned by the Local Authorities,
    • Hospitals, and
    • Lands owned by charitable or cultural organisations approved by the Minister and used solely for the purposes of such organisations.

Q    Q. How is property tax calculated?
A  Properties with an unimproved value of up to J$100,000.00 will be charged a flat rate of J$1,000.00.
Properties with values exceeding J$100,000.00 up to J$1,000,000.00 will attract an additional 1.5% for every additional dollar above J$100,000.00.  Properties with values exceeding J$1,000,000.00 will attract an additional 2.0% for every additional dollar.
 

Q.  How is land valuated?
A.  Valuation in Jamaica is based on the unimproved value of the land, that is, the price which the owner would expect to receive if he were selling the land alone disregarding the value of any improvements such as buildings and crops. Several factors determine the (unimproved) value of land, including: Size of the parcel of land, Zoning and type of land, Potential for development, Topography (elevation & other surface features), Soil classification, Access to municipal & commercial services, and neighbourhood characteristics.

Q     What if you disagree with the assessed value of your property
A    
You may serve a Notice of Objection on the prescribed form at the Commissioner of Land Valuations within 60 days after receiving the Notice of Valuation. You may also fill in a Declaration of Value form indicating the amount that they believe is the more accurate value of the land. The landowner should pay 75% of the tax liability while the objection is being considered.

Q     What actions can the government take to recover unpaid property taxes?
A    
Under the Tax Collection Act the tax collector may take the following actions:

  • Request Direct Payments from Accountant General in cases where property tax is owed by Public Officers.
  • Issue summonses for arrears and penalties owed, if persons fail attend Court, a Warrant of Disobedience may result, where they may be imprisoned for up to three (3) months or an ?Ex Parte order can be made.
  • Levy Warrant or Distrain on Goods/Chattel seizure of goods and auction of same to recover outstanding property tax
  • Levy Warrant Distrain on Securities, etc. seizure money, bonds, securities, etc and disposal to recover outstanding Property Tax.
  • Caveat on the Property (lien):- This blocks the person from transacting any business with the property, such as sale or collateral.
  • Forfeiture of Property:- The property may be seized and sold to recover property tax owed.
  • Collect from People in Possession-payments may be demanded from persons in possession of or occupying the property. E.g. owner, occupier, renter, mortgagee, leasee or other person in actual possession of the property.

Q     What are the laws that relates to property tax?
A    
The Property Tax Act; Land Taxation (Relief) Act; The Land Valuation Act; The Tax (Collection) Act.

Q     What does Property Tax pay for?

A     Property taxes are used to finance property-related services in communities throughout Jamaica. Property Tax pays for:

  • Maintenance and expansion of street lighting,
  • Collection and disposal of solid waste,
  • Community infrastructure and civil improvements,
  • Administration of Local Authorities,
  • Repairs to fire stations, andRehabilitation of parochial/farm roads.

Q     Where can you get additional information?

A     For more information and details of the schedule for outstations operations, persons may contact the Tax Administration Customer Care Centre at 1-888-TAX-HELP (1-888-829-4357) - local; 1888-GO-JATAX (1-888-465-2829) – USA or visit www.jamaicatax.gov.jm or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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