With just over a week to go before the March 15 Income Tax Filing due date, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) is encouraging taxpayers to file their Income Tax Returns for 2018/19 early and ahead of the expected last minute rush.
The Tax Authority is reminding the public that anyone who operates a business or receives income which has NOT been taxed at source, is required under the Income Tax Act to file an Income Tax Return each year, even if they make a loss. The categories of persons include:
• Self-Employed persons (including partners)
• Employed persons with multiple sources of income (such as rent, a “side” business)
• Partnerships and Organizations including registered charities
Additionally, individuals whose income for last year (2018) was more than $1,500,096 should file a Tax Return. However, if the only source of income was from employment and/or bank interest and the income was already taxed at source by an employer under the Pay As You Earn (P.A.Y.E.) system and/or by the bank under the withholding tax system then there is no need to file a Return, unless the individual is directed by the Commissioner General to do so.
If the individual is employed but has a business on the “side”, he/she is required to declare this income and file a tax return. This applies to persons such as:
• Teachers who receive money for extra lessons
• Government Doctors who also have a private practice
• Architects, surveyors, etc. employed by a firm, but who also provide their services independently
• Lawyers employed in the public or private sector who also provide their services independently for a fee
• Employees who rent out all/part of their house(s)
• Employees who do hairdressing, dress making, etc. for a fee
The total income, including the employment income, is to be reported and a credit will be given for the tax paid under the PAYE system.
Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and Assets Tax filers are reminded that they MUST file these electronically as of this tax season, via TAJ’s online portal at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm on or before the March 15 due date. This means corporate bodies, organizations such as Partnerships, Trusts, Estates, Building Societies, Life Assurances as well as registered Charities, must now file their Income Tax Returns and supporting documents online.
Similarly, all companies required to make Assets Tax Declarations (AT01, AT02) must also do so electronically.
Income Tax Filers and Tax Preparers can avoid the expected “Tax Day” rush, by availing themselves of TAJs eServices via the Tax Portal at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm to file their final Income Tax Returns. Taxpayers may visit any of several Tax Offices which have been outfitted with an e-Tax Spot, a designated area which allows taxpayers to file online with the support of tax personnel, these offices include:
- Cross Roads
- Montego Bay
- Spanish Town
- St. Ann’s Bay
- Morant Bay
The Constant Spring location provides even greater support through its eFiling centre, where up to six (6) taxpayers can file at a time with the support of TAJ staff.
There’s still time to access free assistance at any of the scheduled Special Taxpayer Assistance Programme (STAP) sessions now on island wide. A list of locations for these STAP sessions may be found on the TAJ website at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm, along with other information and documents related to Income Tax and Corporate Income and Assets Taxes which are now mandated to be filed online on or before March 15.
For further information call the Tax Administration Customer Care Centre at 888-Tax-Help (888-829-4357) or visit the website www.jamaicatax.gov.jm.