Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) hosted the local leg of The Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators (COTA) Essay Competition Awards ceremony 2017 on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at Tax Administration Jamaica’s Head Office, located at 36 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10. The top three awardees Sangee Orrett, Ferncourt High School student copped 1st place while Nathalia Sessing and Joel-Dave Duncan from St. Hugh’s High and Wolmer’s Boys’ High school copped 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The students penned their essay on the topic “If I were the Head of my country’s Tax Administration, what would I do to increase tax revenues to fund the Government’s development programmes?”
Local prizes included trophies and gift packages from Tax Administration Jamaica as well as book vouchers from the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ). Each awardee also received Certificates of Participation. First (1st) place winner, Sangee Orrett also walked away with the top prize the Tax Administration Jamaica, Commissioner’s General Trophy and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) Trophy as the first (1st) place winner.
Since 2004, the first staging of the COTA essay competition, Jamaica has consistently placed among the top three winners at the regional level. In 2004, Jamaica’s Shaneek Frank from William Knibb High School was awarded first (1st) place at the regional level. This continued in 2012 when Melissa Douglas of St. Andrew’s High School for Girls placed 3rd and also in 2014 when Justin-Timothy Frater, of Cornwall College was awarded 2nd place.
Students across the Caribbean will be vying for prizes and the top three (3) students and their schools will be awarded at the regional level. This includes the top prize of US$1,000.00 and a trophy as well as US$700.00 and $500.00 for the second and third place winners respectively. All three essays were submitted at the regional level and the names of the regional winners will be published by the CARICOM Secretariat in July 2017.
The Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators (COTA) Fifth Regional Essay Competition targeted high school students across the Caribbean ages 14 -15 years and is a major element of COTA’s public education strategies, aimed at stimulating broad interest in regional tax related matters. The 2017 essay competition was intended to encourage students to become familiar with the work of their country’s tax administration, to comment on the topical issues of tax evasion and tax avoidance and at the same time, allow Tax Administrators to benefit from the views of potential taxpayers.
For further information visit the website www.jamaicatax.gov.jm. or call the Tax Administration Customer Care Centre at 1-888-Tax-Help (1-888-829-4357).