Dr. Phillips Urges Revenue Agency Staff to Help Improve Tax Compliance

Jamaica Information Service (JIS)

Minister of Finance and Planning, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, says members of staff of the island’s revenue agencies have a key role to play in helping to improve tax compliance.

Noting that individuals in the society have a “justifiable sense” that some persons “don’t carry their fair share of taxes,” he said tax compliance officers carry “a great weight” in making the system “much fairer for all”.

Dr. Phillips was delivering the keynote address at a graduation ceremony for 28 personnel from Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), who completed the Tax Audit and Revenue Administration (TARA) Post Graduate Diploma programme, held today (April 10), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

He said revenue compliance, and reform of the revenue departments, have been crucial to Jamaica’s economic reform programme.

“A fair, equitable and efficient system of taxation is at the heart of, not only the stability of the economy, but more so, it is at the heart of the social cohesion which every well functioning society needs,” the Minister contended.

Stating that “it is in all of us to do better,” Dr. Phillips contended that everyone paying their share of taxes will result in a lowering of tax rates.

The Minister said he hopes for a time when tax compliance rates will be high, the system is fully automated, and revenue offices will deliver the best of service to clients.

“That’s a future that is not beyond us. That’s a future that is within our grasp; we have to believe in ourselves, and our possibilities,” the Minister said.

He commended the graduates, who participated in the training course conducted by the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), and urged them, as they go back to their respective officers, to ensure that they provide quality service to the Jamaican public.

The training was geared at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of services provided at the tax offices, and also to equip personnel to handle complex tax undertakings, and eliminate or minimise errors.

“We are expecting only the best from you, and …given the record of performance that was reported in the programme, we will not be disappointed,” Minister Phillips told the graduating students.