Since the implementation of the Revenue Administration Information System (RAiS) on February 9, 2015, Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) has recorded over 2,000 consumption tax returns being filed through its new web service. This represents 27% of returns filed on time for the January period.
Phase one of RAiS was successfully rolled out by TAJ to expand its e-services. In this phase it allows persons to file and pay General Consumption Tax (GCT), Special Consumption Tax (SCT), and now also Guest Accommodation Room Tax (GART) and Telephone Call Tax (TCT) via the TAJ portal www.jamaicatax.gov.jm. In addition, the RAiS platform allows taxpayers to query their accounts, create a payment plan, apply for a refund, object to a tax assessment, request a tax advisory visit, send secure messages and set up payment sources.
Payments to the RAiS may be made using a credit card. Additionally, persons with a BNS account may use the automated direct banking feature in RAiS. This allows payments via the banking system's Automated Clearing House (ACH) platform.
Discussions are continuing with other banks to expand the automated direct banking option. The RAiS web service allows taxpayers to manage their own account, facilitating greater control than the previous system. However it also allows taxpayers to grant third party access to other persons, such as an accountant, allowing them to act on the taxpayer's behalf. Through RAiS, persons with third party access are able to manage multiple taxpayer accounts. To date over seventy returns have been prepared and filed by third party users.
A check of the system has also revealed that one particular accounting service has so far been set up to manage thirty (30) clients, confirming that the third party option is being utilised.
Customers seeking assistance to access and use the new online system are advised to contact the TAJ Customer Care Centre at 1-888-Tax-Help or a Taxpayer Education Officer assigned to a Revenue Service Centre. Large Taxpayers are advised to get in touch with their Client Relationship Manager.
Over the next few weeks, the TAJ will continue meeting with various stakeholder groups and persons to sensitise them to the benefits and ease of using the new system. The administration will also continue issuing advisories and other documents on how to use RAiS.
TAJ welcomes feedback as we work with our valued customers to make the system even better. The administration is currently reviewing several recommendations made by accounting firms, groups of companies, small and medium enterprises to further improve the web service and increase its use by stakeholders, before moving to the next phase of the RAiS project.