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Jamaica will miss the September 30 deadline for implementing the Omnibus Tax Incentive Legislation, Minister of Finance and Planning Peter Phillips said. The legislation will now be tabled in October.
The Omnibus Tax Incentive Bill, which is a key condition in the country's four-year extended fund facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), aims to establish a transparent and coherent regime to govern all tax incentives, a press release on the government's website said. The Act will also eliminate ministerial discretionary powers to grant tax relief.
Mr Phillips, who made the disclosure during a statement to the House of Representatives on September 24, said the decision was made following post-mission discussions involving the Government of Jamaica, the IMF mission staff and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
"As a result of these post-mission discussions, the technical negotiating team of the government of Jamaica and the IMF/IDB missions arrived at a staff-level agreement on critical outstanding issues on the design of tax reform," he informed.
Phillips said it was recognized that the finalization of tax incentive proposals, along the lines mutually agreed, would require additional analytical work.
In light of these additional requirements, the Jamaican government and IMF mission staff reached a staff-level understanding that meeting the September 2013 deadline for the tabling of relevant tax incentive reform legislation would not be possible or advisable, the Finance Minister said.
Phillips emphasized that the delay will not impact the expected timeline for effectiveness of the legislation.
"The government of Jamaica has been assured by the IMF staff that this revised process will not delay the scheduled Board meetings to discuss the completion of the first review, and we are confident that this review will be completed," he said.
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