We continue our exploration of taxation in Jamaica as an entrepreneur. For the month of February, we will cover things you need to know about taxes generally and understanding the purpose, structure, rights and benefits of filing your taxes as an entrepreneur. For the last two weeks in this month, Entrepreneur Weekly will feature how to prepare and how to file your taxes using the Tax Administration Jamaica’s (TAJ) online platform, which is the mandatory route to file your taxes.
Admittedly, taxation can be a confusing and scary thing, but it’s also an important part of doing business in Jamaica. In this post, we will explore your rights as an entrepreneur when filing your taxes and some of the benefits.
As a tax paying citizen of Jamaica, there are rights that you have and it is important to be aware of them. According to the TAJ, “the taxpayer has the right to be informed, assisted and heard. Taxpayers are entitled to have up-to-date information on the operation of the tax system and the way in which their tax is assessed.” Another right of the taxpayer is to appeal and this simply means that appeals can be made against decisions made by the Commissioner General. These must be made to the Revenue Appeals Division. Disputes are settled and hearings are conducted free of charge at the request of the taxpayer.
Taxpayers also have a right to pay no more than the amount due. According to the TAJ, “Taxpayers should be taxed based on their income, they should be aware of how much they are required to pay. They should also have clear and accurate information on exemptions, relief and also deductions for which they are eligible as well as on refunds which may be due to them.”
Additionally, taxpayers have a right to certainty. The TAJ says that this means that “taxpayers are entitled to accurate, up-to-date information on tax rates, changes to the law, interest payable, and penalties imposed which are relevant to the computation of their tax liability.” There are more rights that individuals and businesses have when it comes on to taxation and it is important to know them, so be sure to do your research with TAJ.
There are general benefits that the act of paying taxes can produce for a country as well as for an entrepreneur. Benefits include but are not limited to the fact that it helps pay for the infrastructure that your company depends on. It ensures that the government has the resources it needs to function properly, which means more stability, security, and efficiency for all businesses in the country. Taxes also help keep governments funded so they can invest in programmes like education or infrastructure improvements; these programmes benefit everyone.
If you’re an entrepreneur in Jamaica, you’re going to have to deal with taxes at some point in your career. Taxes help to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, so you don’t have to worry about playing by a different set of rules than your competitors do. But there are some other benefits that entrepreneurs can directly experience with taxation:
Here are some of them:
- Tax breaks – This is when the government offers you a tax break, it means you’re getting a reduction in your taxes.
- Tax deductions – Cornell Law defines it in this way: “Deduction in tax law (referred to as a tax deductible) means an item or expense that can reduce the taxes a person owes in a given year. A deductible item is subtracted from the total taxable income which can substantially reduce taxes owed by an individual or corporation.”
- Tax credits – Investopedia defines this as “an amount of money that taxpayers can subtract directly from the taxes they owe. The value of a tax credit depends on the nature of the credit. Certain types of tax credits are granted to individuals or businesses in specific locations, classifications, or industries.
- Tax incentives – According to PWC, “Jamaica grants relief from taxation to persons who have been approved under the following incentive legislation: The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act, The Urban Renewal (Tax Relief) Act, The Income Tax Act (Junior Stock Market Companies), The Income Tax Relief (Large-Scale Projects & Pioneer Industries) Act, The Bauxite and Alumina Industries (Encouragement) Act and The Charities Act.”
The truth is, taxes can really encourage entrepreneurship by giving people incentives to start businesses. If you were able to keep everything you made at your business without paying any taxes on it, then why would you ever stop working? Taxes encourage people to take risks because they know they’ll get something out of it at the end!
Tax Education Opportunities
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) has long assisted entrepreneurs with informational sessions when it comes on to taxes. Through partnerships with Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), several sessions have been conducted and entrepreneurs can visit the organisation’s YouTube channel at JBDC Jamaica to check out (60) JBDC Virtual Biz Zone – MSMEs, Tax Compliance & the Tax Credit – YouTubeand other tax related talks.
Additionally, JBDC and TAJ have partnered to deliver Tax Talk 2023. … a two-day virtual workshop for registered business. The workshop will target self-employed entrepreneurs, companies and partnerships. Day 1 was overwhelming over-subscribed and therefore, two editions have been staged. Don’t miss Day 2 – February 15, 2023 – Completing Your Filing Online. Registration is free and the event will be hosted via Zoom. Interested persons must send an email to to register.
deduction | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)
Tax Administration Jamaica – TAJ Portal (jamaicatax.gov.jm)