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House approves bill to give foreigners income tax exemption
2012-09-25 17:42:09 | (0 Comments)
Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer
Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips-File
The parliament today approved the bill which provides tax exemptions to foreigner workers in companies which establish a headquarters in Jamaica.
Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips, who piloted the bill, said the legislation is aimed at mobilising more investment in the country.
Dr Phillips said the aim of the legislation is to generate much needed revenue and employment.
He outlined that to benefit from the law, companies must have a minimum of 30 per cent Jamaican staff and be in good financial standing, among other things.
Dr Phillips said the finance minister will stipulate the terms of the certificate and he said non-compliance with those terms may result in the permit being withdrawn.
The finance minister said measures will be put in place to ensure that there is no abuse of the new tax system.
In supporting the bill Member of Parliament for Western St Andrew Anthony Hylton, who is also the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, said the bill will allow Jamaica to tap into higher-end service delivery.
He said it would also position the country to benefit from investments in areas such as finance, technology and ICT.
Meanwhile, opposition Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw also supported the bill saying the legislation will help the government to bring in critical inflows in light of the countryís revenue challenges.
And while supporting the bill opposition spokesman on industry and investment Karl Samuda questioned why the bill was not tabled with the White Paper on Tax Reform.
He said he believes this would have been a better approach.
Samuda is of the view that the passing of the tax exemptions to foreigners of companies with headquarters in Jamaica will open the door for local corporations to press the government for a cut in corporate income tax.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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