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CaPRI Newsroom

Shaw Appeals For Tax Feedback
Damion Mitchell and Daraine Luton

The finance Minister Audley Shaw is appealing to members of the public to make submissions to the Parliamentary committee which is to examine the proposed tax reform policy.

The parliamentary committee is set to begin its review on the Government’s Tax Reform proposals in September.

The finance ministry announced the review timeline in a news release this afternoon.

It came hours after Dr Peter Phillips, the Opposition spokesman on finance criticised the finance minister for the delay.

This afternoon the Finance Minister said the green paper, which was tabled in Parliament in May, is a critical step toward ensuring that the tax system is simple, efficient, equitable and fair.

The ministry also said the reformed tax system should stimulate economic growth while yielding adequate amounts of revenue.

However, the minister wants the reform to be all-inclusive and comprehensive.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has told the committee to consider national imperatives when it looks the report.

The Green Paper on tax reform proposes, among other things, a reduction in the rate of the General Consumption Tax (GCT).

The Green Paper also proposes that the five per cent advance GCT now charged on the importation of goods be abolished, and replaced with an advance five per cent on the cost, insurance and freight paid by commercial importers, except for bauxite and petroleum.

The Green Paper also proposes that the personal income-tax threshold, which now stands at $441,168 per annum, be increased starting January 2012 through to 2014.

It has also been proposed that a phased compulsory filing of income tax returns be instituted.

However, already, the Caribbean Policy Research Institute has said the proposals are unlikely to make the system more efficient.

Persons wishing to participate should write to: The Chairman of the Parliamentary Tax Committee at Houses of Parliament, 81 Duke Street, Kingston.