Gaming industry stakeholders to benefit from new tax regime

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec 31, CMC – Gaming industry stakeholders are expected to benefit significantly from improved service delivery under phase three of Tax Administration Jamaica’s (TAJ) Revenue Administration Information System (RAiS), a senior official has said here.
The phase, which was rolled out in early September, entails revenue administration streamlining for several categories of taxes applied within the industry.
These include the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Duty and Transfer Tax; Environmental Protection Levy; Trade and Business Licence; and Withholding Tax.
In a presentation to the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC) Gaming Industry Summit, the Business Lead for the RAiS Project, Jean James outlined the revisions and benefits of the regime including the requirement of gaming entities to have registered accounts created by the TAJ.
She said this requires that they have a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) to facilitate a more structured filing of returns for central and branch activities.
The categories of accounts to be created will cover racing, sports betting, gaming and lottery.
James said accounts will be created whether or not entities are conducting business.
“So (where they) have been issued with a licence and are in business, then the taxpayer account will become active when it is created. If the business is not operational yet, then we will establish that account in a pending state,” she explained.
James pointed out that operators demitting the industry should advise the BGLC to enable the TAJ to accord a “cease” designation for their accounts.
Another change, she informed, is the streamlining of the revenue filing format, which is now directly administered by the TAJ.
“So, no longer will you be asked to go to two or three entities to file returns. All returns will be delivered to us, because we will be sharing the platform… and the returns data with the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission,” she said.
James further advised that returns can be filed at TAJ revenue centres, as well as online, pointing out that the latter requires an e-service account. She also highlighted the advantage of filing online as against in-line at revenue centres.
“Returns that are filed online are processed overnight. So, if you (file) today, tomorrow you will see that return reflected on your account. The process for returns filed in-line will be delayed because that will have to be done through batch processing (data entry). So, what we are encouraging is online filing,” she said.
James indicated that in validating the returns, where errors occur in clients’ utilisation of either option, notification will be issued.
Meanwhile, she is encouraging operators to meet payment deadlines, emphasising that this stipulation will be enforced. She warned that non-compliance will result in a late penalty charge being applied.
“We will also be issuing a demand notice, which is a reminder usually sent to our clients to inform them when there are amounts outstanding,” she added.
James said TAJ was collaborating with the BGLC to sensitise industry operators on the new arrangements, to ensure there is a clear understanding by all parties.
Noting that the TAJ has been transforming its operations to improve service delivery in tax administration,. James said the RAiS is one of the main areas of its business process re-engineering engagement.
We are very serious about improving service delivery and the administration of taxes in order to achieve the highest compliance levels,” she added.
Under the RAiS, taxpayers are now able to use enhanced e-services to more easily make payments in filing their statutory returns and view their account status.

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