Finance Minister Announces Changes to Stimulus Package

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Jamaica News: Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon Nigel Clarke, has announced changes to the recently announced $14-billion stimulus package.

Closing the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 20, Dr. Clarke said the ad valorem Stamp Duty payable on any instrument pursuant to the Stamp Duty Act will be replaced with a flat stamp duty of $100 per document/parcel related to transactions valued below $500,000, and $5,000 per document related to transactions valued at $500,000 and more.

“To be clear, the ad valorem calculation for Betting and Gaming tickets remains unchanged,” he added.

Dr. Clarke said the Opposition had made the point that given that the current ad valorem stamp duty rate on using primary property as security for a loan is 0.625 per cent, “then if you use such a title to get a loan of $150,000 now you would pay $937.50 and to apply the flat rate of $5,000 in that specific example would represent an increase”.

The Opposition also raised the point that the current General Consumption Tax (GCT) Act requires all persons/entities below the current threshold of $3 million to deregister, and if the threshold is raised to $10 million, then this clause would mean that all persons/entities below $10 million would be required by law to deregister.

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Dr. Clarke explained that while freedom from the burden of filing will benefit the overwhelming majority of businesses with sales less than $10 million, there will be some who may prefer to remain registered.

“We will, therefore, reinstate the provision in the GCT Act which empowers the Commissioner to re-register an applicant under the voluntary registration regime should that be the preference of the business. The Commissioner will retain the discretion to accept,” he said.

He added that all other aspects of the GCT regime will remain in force.

 

Source: JIS News

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