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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Forign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith (Photo: JIS)

Jamaica amends GCT Act for the re-registration of businesses

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Forign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith (Photo: JIS)

Business persons who now fall below the new General Consumption Tax (GCT) threshold and are to be deregistered as taxpayers, will have the option to apply to the Commissioner General to be re-registered.

Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Kamina Johnson Smith
(Photo: Jamaica Information Service)

This is being facilitated through amendments to the GCT Act, which were approved during Friday’s (January 24) sitting of the Senate.

Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Kamina Johnson Smith, who piloted the Bill, informed that the amendments “are intended to give effect to the policy ensuring the voluntary registration of persons who fall below the new threshold of GCT, but who opt to remain registered taxpayers”.

“The government policy of increasing the threshold has the positive effect of aiding and stimulating the micro and small business sectors of the economy…”

– Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Kamina Johnson Smith

She informed that as part of the 2019/2020 fiscal year revenue measures, the Government increased the GCT threshold from $3 million to $10 million and the last time the threshold was increased was in fiscal year 2009/2010.

“The increase in the GCT threshold anticipates the deregistration of persons whose gross total supplies are less than the threshold of $10 million, and these persons would no longer be required to file a monthly GCT return, as they would not be considered registered taxpayers based on the GCT threshold status,” Senator Johnson Smith explained.

Johnson said the measure is expected to reduce the GCT base.

She noted that while this measure is expected to reduce the GCT base, it is also expected to generate efficiencies and administrative cost savings, not only to the businesses themselves but to tax administration based on the numbers and value of the transactions.

“The government policy of increasing the threshold has the positive effect of aiding and stimulating the micro and small business sectors of the economy, and in that regard, cost savings should accrue to the sector, as companies operating at the lower end of the revenue threshold will not be obliged to undertake all that is entailed with registration and filing of GCT returns,” the Leader of Government Business said.

She noted that the measure has also been working together with the Government’s removal of the Minimum Business Tax to ease the burden on small businesses and to give them more space to grow.