In Shift, Jamaica Shelves Plan to Tax Bank Withdrawals

Above: Kingston (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

After a plan to levy a tax on withdrawals from banks led to major controversy at home and abroad, Jamaica’s government has to decided to shelve the plan.

Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips announced Wednesday that the government would be removing the introduction of the tax and replacing it with two new revenue-boosting measures: a 15 percent withholding tax on insurance premiums paid by Jamaican residents to non residents and a a modification to the country’s general consumption tax on imported services.

The withdrawal tax, announced earlier this month, generated criticism across the country and internationally, leading some to question Jamaica’s desire to remain competitive in the international banking industry.

According to estimates, the new measures would actually draw slightly more revenue than the proposed withdrawal tax.

The tax had been promulgated as part of Jamaica’s 2014/2015 budget.