Above: Jamaican Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Jamaica saw an 11 percent increase in tax revenues in June compared to the same period in 2011, according to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.
The Minister made the announcement during a speech to the House of Representatives this week.
Jamaica has been pushing for greater tax compliance among the population, something Phillips said was beginning make an impact.
“The fact is, before the new measures took effect, that is to say from April and May, tax revenues were running, because of greater compliance, 14-plus percent above a similar period last year,” he said. “That reflects improvement in compliance and administration.”
At then end of 2011, Jamaica’s Cabinet approved amendments to legislation that would facilitate the use of a single form to file annual tax returns.
Last year, former Finance Minister Audley Shaw said there were a number of people in Jamaica who “willfully evade taxes, including a lot of business in downtown Kingston.”
“You cannot have a civilized economy going forward, with all of the demands that are placed upon government to find the appropriate resources for all of the critical needs, but with a whole set of people feeling that ‘taxes are not for me,'” he said at the time.