Business operators and entrepreneurs are being encouraged by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) to maintain proper records.
Taxpayer Education Officer, Rogerlene Miller, explained that business records are to be maintained
for a minimum of six years.
“They are required by law to maintain proper records in English, to substantiate their income and expenses. We stress record-keeping because what we find happening is that over the years, persons come and do their form from information from off the top of their head, but the there is no record or documentation to verify their claims on the form,”
According to Miss Miller, the information shared with the TAJ can be queried at any time by personnel from the organisation.
“You can be visited or audited by a tax auditor at any time once you file these tax returns. They can call at any time and request a record to back up your claim and if you are unable to substantiate your claim, then you are liable for a tax assessment, so we encourage you to keep proper records,”
she further explained.
Jamaica has a Self-Assessment Tax System and taxpayers are required to calculate, file and pay their taxes at specific times set by the Revenue Authorities.
According to Miss Miller, record-keeping in the context of Jamaica’s tax system enables business operators to prepare their tax returns.
“For those persons that have been keeping clean records, they will realise that at the end of the year when they are doing their tax returns, they don’t necessarily need an accountant, because all you are doing is pulling your figures from your records,”
she pointed out.
“All you have to do is summarise the information, such as expenses and income and drop it on to your tax returns or business expenses, so it is very easy and it is cost-effective as well, so you can do your tax returns once you have your records intact,”