Business Strategy Tool: SWOT

SWOT is a commonly used tool for Business Strategy to take stock of where a business is and how it could improve. Use the SWOT exercise below to distinguish your business by recognizing its unique Strengths and Talents, get clear on and mitigate your Weaknesses and Threats as well as identify potential Opportunities on the horizon.

SWOT  Exercise: Business-Coaching-BUSINESS-SWOT-Analysis

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What is Business Coaching and What Can it Do for You?

Coaching is a process that enables executives, managers and staff to achieve their full potential. Coaching and mentoring are similar in nature. Let’s look at some of the things your Crowe Horwath Jamaica business coach will do for you, your staff and your business.

Crowe Horwath Jamaica business coach system will :

* teach clients to creatively apply techniques and tools. This includes things like facilitating, doing one-on-one training, counseling, and networking.
* Encourages clients to a commitment to action and the development of growth and change that’s lasting.
* Encouraging clients to constantly advance competencies and to expand developmental association whenever necessary to attain their goals.
* Ensure that clients build their personal competencies and that they don’t build unhealthy dependencies on the coaching relationship.
* Evaluate the outcome of the process, with the use of objective measures when possible to make sure the relationship thrives and the client is achieving their goals both personal and work related.
* Facilitate the exploration of the clients needs, desires, motivations, skills and the thought process to assist the client in making real and lasting changes.
* Preserve positive unconditional regard for the client, which means that the coach is always non judgmental and supportive of the client, their aspirations and views.
* Management of the relationship to make sure the client get a suitable level of service and that the program isn’t too long or too short.
* Observe the client, listen and ask questions to understand the situation of the client.
* Use questioning techniques to make possible the client’s own thought processes to identify solutions and actions rather than using a direct approach.
* Proven coaching training practices can bolster trust, strengthen relationships and commitment, and enjoy the benefits of open communication.
* Give meaningful feedback to clients on the best way to communicate requests and suggestions to others?
* Provide skill to build trust and acceptance.
* Teach clients how to use questions to achieve the best performance.
* Examine the behaviors that will lead to unreliable behavior and the inability to achieve the client’s goals.

Business coaching is a valuable tool where a trained professional comes into a business no matter what the business size to work with executives, managers, and staff so that they can create their goals and achieve those goals, so that they can grow and expand their skills and improve their role in the workplace achieving their goals.

Contact us today for a Free Evaluation which allows us to customise your Business Growth Program. Email us at info@crowehorwath.com.jm or Telephone 1876-9265210 and let us know when you want to meet.

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The One on One Coaching Model

The one on one coaching model is an excellent choice if you want to invest in the talent for the future. It can play a positive role in the long-term strategy and yet often it is a strategy that’s overlooked. The coaching relationship is going to enhance the skills that are needed during difficult and changing times. When your company invests in this type of development of company talent, they are looking at a long-term strategy for their company and one that can be created using the one on one coaching model.

The Crowe Horwath Coaching System incorporates the following:

* The coach will meet with the manager(s) and Human Resource Dept. to talk about the goals of the candidate and they will come to an agreement on the targets.

* The coach will meet with the candidate to collect personal history, career data and then to reach an agreement on the goals and expectations.

* The assessment process will begin by using a variety of instruments along with the 360 feedback from employees that work in close proximity to the candidate.

* Feedback is collected and then it is analyzed to decide on assets and liabilities, which are then presented to the candidate.

* The candidate will create a developmental plan that’s specific to behavior and determine the desired outcome that will also include input from the manager and/or Human Resources personnel.

* The plan is implemented so that it also has time frames and suitable tools.

* The coach works with the candidate to incorporate the new behaviors with the regular one-on-one sessions.

* The coach will reassess the close-working employees, and then evaluate and report the incremental shifts. Engagement will extend when there are revised objectives.

Choosing a Coach

Choosing the right coach is important. It means you need to find out who best fits the candidate. Personalities vary, but still, professionals should be able to blend with a mix of personalities. A professional coach should have these qualifications:

* Experience in the industry.

* Exposure to working with senior staff and the types of issues they face.

* Exposure to and/or certification in numerous assessment tools.

* Being able to provide feedback.

* Expertise and significant exposure in organizational changes.

You’ve heard it before – when the going gets tough the tough get going, or they should take advantage of one on one coaching to help create opportunities and make goals. A coach is able to reinforce the needed skills for both current personal and new personnel so that they can move forward.

A business coach is a service you have to pay for and that can sometimes stop people from making the call. However, if you use Crowe Horwath Jamaica Business Coach it is a great investment in your future. You pay us while you achieve your Targets and Goals hence it is an Investment.

Contact us today for a Free Evaluation which allows us to customise your Business Growth Program. Email us at info@crowehorwath.com.jm or Telephone 1876-9265210 and let us know when you want to meet.

 

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Highly Effective Business Coaching

Business coaching – what is it? Executives and managers of companies who are interested in development and career growth increasingly turn to a business coach to have a customized development process. Consider this – how often would you have found it helpful to have a chance to talk about some key ideas with a person that is impartial and objective in preparation for a major change or perhaps a very important meeting.

The concept of business coaching has actually come from the sports arena where top athletes employ coaches to help improve and enhance their performance. Business people are slowly realizing that the same benefits can be enjoyed in the business arena using business coaches.

Coaching works best in those environments where there is a desire to be practical, progressive and proactive but at the same time, there is value in the opportunity to challenge and stimulate. The executive(s) or manager(s) is thought to be the expert in his/her field and in this way the business coach will facilitate the executive or manager to find the right way forward. Coaching is always forward thinking with a well-structured approach that remains flexible and presumes purpose and commitment.

Effective, Efficient, Productive

When it comes to professional support, business coaching is the exception as it combines individual attention, challenge, and objectiveness. The coach’s skills make it extremely successful because:

  • It inspires you to develop your own solutions
  • It keeps you focusing on a specific goal or goals
  • It makes you accountable for your progress
  • It supports you through change
  • It removes any blockages so that you can move forward
  • It prioritizes based on values
  • It challenges you to take the next step in moving forward

Research published in Olivero et al. 1997 showed that training can increase productivity by as much as 22 percent, but when training is combined with coaching, it can increase productivity by a whopping 88 percent.

What Does Crowe Business Coaching Involve?

Coaching is not training – the delivery system is much different. A business coach will work with the executive or manager to develop a training program that is tailored to the skill areas where there is a need for impact. The coach will help the executive/manager to make the necessary behavioral changes to create growth. The coach does not provide the answer, but rather the coach brings along a process or system to help the client determine the answers.

A business coach is a service you have to pay for and that can sometimes stop people from making the call. However, if you use Crowe Horwath Jamaica Business Coach it is a great investment in your future. You pay us while you achieve your Targets and Goals hence it is an Investment.

Contact us today for a Free Evaluation which allows us to customise your Business Growth Program. Email us at info@crowehorwath.com.jm or Telephone 1876-9265210 and let us know when you want to meet.

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Coaching to Get Results

Coaching has become a leading resource that business leaders are taking advantage of to create highly successful businesses. The one misunderstanding is that to use a business coach your business needs to be larger, but that’s not the case at all. At Crowe Horwath Jamaica we provide Business Coaching services to all size business

Coaching can help create clarity and direction for any size business. Working with a business coach can help to determine what it is you want to create, the reason it is important, and how you plan to reach that goal. It can help you to create an action plan and then achieve the goals you set.

If you had an empowering way that you could commit to and then achieve your business goals, would you not want to take advantage of it? Well, you do, it’s called business coaching.

Business Coaching Helps You to Become Clear on Your Goals

It is important that you are clear on what it is you want from your business along with how you plan to get it. Then you will need to determine what your commitment is. A business coach can help you to create clear goals and plans on achieving those goals.

Business Coaching Aids You to be Effective and Productive

When it comes to support, business coaching provides individual attention along with the challenge and objectiveness that are needed. A skilled business coach is very successful because he or she can:

* Inspire you to expand your solutions
* Keep you focused on your goals
* Make you accountable for your progress
* Support you through the change
* Remove any obstacles so that you can move forward
* Prioritize based on your values
* Challenges you to take the next step

Business Coaching Connects You to What’s Important

Your business coach will help to build a foundation that’s grounded so that you make decisions that are in alignment with your value system and what you value most. They will also help you to create a plan that will ensure your daily actions are in alignment with the values. This is the key to creating commitment breakthroughs.

A small business can benefit as much from a business coach as a larger business. Your business coach isn’t there to make decisions for you, but rather to be a sounding board and to help guide you in the direction that is right for you and your business. Take advantage of outside help to grow your business.

Contact us today for a Free Evaluation which allows us to customise your Business Growth Program. Email us at info@crowehorwath.com.jm or Telephone 1876-9265210 and let us know when you want to meet.

 

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How Your Business Coach Can Help You Grow Your Business

Your business is doing okay, but you’d like to see it grow and prosper. That doesn’t seem to be happening. If you are wondering what you should do, it’s a place many business owners find themselves. A good place to start is with a business coach, who can help you to grow your business. Crowe Horwath Jamaica now offers Business Coaching Services focusing on Growth and sustainable earnings.

A Business Coach Helps You to Navigate Market and Economic Changes

You are very aware that you need to grow your business, but for that to happen and for you to grow you will have to learn more. It’s hard keeping up with changes in the industry, never mind the changes that occur on a global business scale. Trying to figure out how to improve your role in the mix can be a bit daunting. Business education is now in a new realm with business coaching and business mentoring replacing the more traditional form of consulting, seminars and books. So if you want to get it right it’s time to turn to your business coach. 

Business Coaches Can Establish Accountability

Your business coach is going to hold you accountable, to demand you see results and to demand you see a profit. Your business coach is someone who can push you, challenge you, encourage you to think outside the box, operate as if there is no box, and congratulate you when you succeed. It can be a lonely job being the owner and you often don’t have the sounding board that you desire or need. A trained business coach can help you to solve the problems that arise and to turn these situations into opportunities.

Business Coaches Can Offer You a Second Opinion From Another Expert

You need a business coach to demand results and hold you accountable. You need a business coach who can see through the maze and who isn’t blinded by the industry or that fact that there is too much competition. You want a business coach who can keep his or her eye on the prize. That’s a powerful combination for you. That is what we provide at Crowe Horwath Jamaica

Like your life, running your business can be challenging and there can certainly be ups and down. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that hang you up and you can’t work your way through it. A business coach not only offer you a second opinion, they can be a great sounding board to help you get over your stumbling block.

Why not join the thousands of small businesses that are turning to business coaches for help growing their business.

Contact us today for a Free Evaluation which allows us to customise your Business Growth Program. Email us at info@crowehorwath.com.jm or Telephone 1876-9265210 and let us know when you want to meet.

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4 Reasons You Should Use a Business Coach to Get Results

Business coaching is a modern day concept. Many businesses, especially those that think outside the box, are recognizing that having a business coach is a powerful tool that your business can take advantage of.

Crowe Howarth Jamaica Business Coaching Department assists Business Owners to achieve their growth target.

Let’s look at 4 reasons you should use a business coach.

#1 A Business Coach Can Show You How to Get Greater Returns With Less Work

You work way too many hours and you believe if you were to leave even for a short vacation, things might fall apart, but boy, you are ready to work less! You can call the coaching by many names – executive coaching, small business coaching, business coaching and there are others – bottom line is that any one of these can help your company to become far more efficient. That means you will work fewer hours and make more money. A business coach can help you turn your old business model into a new business model that’s more powerful and profitable.

#2 Business Coaching Can Create More Profits

Are you ready to make more money? If you aren’t making the profits you thought you would it’s time to change that and turn things around. A business coach can help you do that. He or she can help you to jump-start your business. Your business coach isn’t there to make the decisions for you, but they are there to open you up and help you explore how you might reach the goals you have and make the profits you desire. At Crowe, you pay us as you Grow.

#3 Business Coaches Help You Develop Your Team

You are ready to build a team so that you can grow your business. That’s great news. A business coach can help you recruit, train, and keep the right team members. When you build a team, it can motivate everyone and allow you to create a powerful team with the help of your business coach. You can create passion among your team members.

#4 Business Coaches Can Help You Find Your Passion

If you need to fall back in love with your business, a business coach is just the tool to help you do that. Overtime every business can become a bit mundane and a bit boring. Motivation is key to maintaining and growing a vision and passion. Whether you are building a simple marketing plan or a full business your business coach is an excellent sounding board and can be an invaluable tool and sounding board to help you get your passion back!

A business coach is a service you have to pay for and that can sometimes stop people from making the call. However, if you use Crowe Horwath Jamaica Business Coach it is a great investment in your future. You pay us while you achieve your Targets and Goals hence it is an Investment.

Contact us today for a Free Evaluation which allows us to customise your Business Growth Program. Email us at info@crowehorwath.com.jm or Telephone 1876-9265210 and let us know when you want to meet.

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Business Startups

Starting a new business can be a very exciting time, you are going to be your own boss, decide what and when you do things, manage the purse strings, and in fact, you are in control of everything.

Are you really in control of the situation though, you have to deal with everything yourself so you have to stay focused on what you want to do and why. All business startups need advice; sometimes they need advice on where to get advice, so the budding entrepreneur has to be able to listen as there is more to running a business than understanding, or loving, the subject.

Like a chess game, success in small business starts with decisive and correct opening moves. And, although initial mistakes are not fatal, it takes skill, discipline, and hard work to regain the advantage.

When you plan to start a business you do not plan to fail but statistics show that 70% of business start-ups fail within the first 3 years of trading. This is for a variety of reasons but they mainly hinge on business and financial planning. Basic mistakes like starting the business with insufficient financial backing or working capital to taking too much of the profits to remunerate the owners are often the downfall of the business.

A way to increase your chances of success, take the time up front to explore and evaluate your business and personal goals. This information will be useful to help you build a comprehensive and well ¬thought¬ out business plan, the blueprint for your business.

Every business needs a business plan, for business startups the first part of the business plan might be where to find out how to write a business plan and what it should include. The process of developing a business plan will help you think through some important issues that you may not have considered yet. Your plan will become a valuable tool as you set out to raise money for your business, no investor will even look at you if you have not got a business plan. It should also provide milestones to gauge your success.

There are a lot of agencies who can advise you on some, or all, aspects of starting a business. Some of these will charge you for their advice whilst others offer them free of charge.

They can even help with introductions to reputable suppliers. A bad supplier speeds the downfall of a lot of business startups who really need to rely on good stock and reliable delivery dates.

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Jamaica :Withholding Tax on local and Overseas payments

It is important to note that some payments in Jamaica attract withholding tax. For Guidance see summary below. However, it is advised that you seek professional guidance. Crowe Horwath Jamaica will be happy to assist.

Income Tax – Withholding Tax on local payments

TYPE OF WITHHOLDING TAX RATES     
Withholding Taxes – Interest  paid locally 25% of gross
Withholding Taxes – Dividends (Residents) 15% of gross
Withholding Taxes – Dividends (Non-Residents; Treaty rates is applied where necessary) *33.33% & 25% of gross
Withholding Taxes – Directors Fee 25% of gross
Withholding Taxes – Pensions 25% of gross
Withholding Taxes on interest -quarterly 25% of gross

 Income Tax – Withholding Tax on payments to non-residents

 

Double Taxation Treaty Country

Types of Income

Dividends

Interest %

Royalties %

Management Fees%

Portfolio Investment Substantial Holdings
Canada 15.0 22.5 15.0 10.0 12.5
Denmark 15.0 10.0 12.5 10.0 10.0
Germany 15.0 10/22.5 10/12.5* 10.0 10.0**
Israel 22.5 15.0 15.0 10.0 33 1/3 / 25
Norway 15.0 15.0 12.5 10 10.0
Sweden 22.5 10.0 12.5 10.0 10.0
United Kingdom 15.0 22.5 12.5 10.0 12.5
United States 15.0 10.0 12.5 10.0 taxed as business profit
Caribbean Community 15.0 15.0 15.0
Switzerland 15.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
Peoples’ Republic of China1 5.0 5.0 7.5 10.0
France 15.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
Spain2 10.0 5.0 10.0 10.0 10.0

Notes

(a) Portfolio Investment – investments by an individual or small investment by a company.

(b) Substantial Holdings – direct substantial investment (10% or more) by a non-resident company in the company paying the dividends.

Recognized banking institution 10% others 12.5%
** See Royalties article

—————————————

1Effective January 1, 1998
2Effective May 16, 2009

Need Guidance on the above?

Contact  Crowe Horwath Jamaica
Corporate Office: Dawgen Towers, 47-49 Trinidad Terrace, Kingston 5
Telephone: (876) 926-5210| (876) 9292518| Email:info@crowehorwath.com.jm

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History of Tax Administration in Jamaica

1600’s

Jamaica’s first tax system was introduced in 1664 by the English Governor, Sir Thomas Modyford. There is no evidence that such a system existed during the time of the Tainos or during the Spanish occupation.  At first the Governor wished to set a firm figure which would be collected every year, but the Assembly or House of Representatives felt that its members as representatives of the people should decide how much should be collected each year and by what means.

1700’s

In 1728 during the reign of King George II the House agreed to impose certain Customs duties as a basis for the financing of Local Government’s operations.

1800’s

It was not until 1867 that the Assembly agreed to regular, fixed rates of tax, which were to be set by the laws they made.  Two years later in 1869, the Customs, Excise and Revenue Department was established.  This Department later became the Collector General’s Department. Over the years the law was changed periodically to decide how taxes were to be collected and how much was to be paid by taxpayers.

1900 – 1929

Income Tax was introduced in Jamaica at the end of the first (1st) World War by the Income Tax Act of 1919 and came into operation in 1920.  This money was used to purchase tractors and railway equipment which had been used in the war and were no longer needed.  These implements were used to carry out certain public works and to assist in transportation.  The new jobs created were given to soldiers who were returning from the war.  There was initial resistance to the levying of taxes on income but over the years taxpayers have grown accustomed to paying Income Tax.

The 1919 Income Tax Act provided for:

  1. Tax to be charged for 1920 on the income of 1919 and thereafter for each subsequent year on the income of the preceding year.
  2. Return of income to be rendered by every person liable to pay tax.
  3. An Assessment Committee to assess the tax then notify the taxpayer and the Collector General who was charged with the duty of collecting the tax (a convenient arrangement) since the Collector General’s Department had officers in various parts of the Island.

The original Act also provided for the appointment of persons to assist taxpayers in completing their income tax returns and because of their convenient island wide organization, Collectors of Taxes were appointed the first assistors.

The Assessment Committee consisted of three members two forming a quorum. Originally they exercised the duties and enabling powers under the law, through a small staff of five (5) persons. The committee met at convenient intervals to approve assessments and sign extracts from the assessment list to be sent to the Collector General for collection of the tax charged.

1930’s

Because of the growing number of taxpayers, in 1939 the law was amended to enable the number of the Assessment Committee Members to be increased and to provide for the appointment of a Commissioner of Income Tax and “such other persons and officers as may be necessary for the proper administration of the law”.

1940’s

In 1940 a Commissioner and a Deputy Commissioner were appointed.  The Commissioner was made a member of the Assessment Committee.

1950’s

The method of determining a person’s liability to tax by reference to the income of the preceding year remained the same up to 31st December, 1952, at which time two major changes were introduced.

 

1.      The Income Tax (Employment) Act of 1952 paved the way for the introduction of a Pay-as you-earn (PAYE) System from 1st January 1953.  Employees then became liable to pay tax on their wages and salaries as they were earned.  Other sources of income remained taxed on the income of the preceding year. This included all income such as that from trades, businesses, professions, vocations, investments and rents.

Under the P.A.Y.E. System the employee receives his pay less the tax chargeable on it with the employer being responsible for remitting the tax he deducts to the Collector of Taxes.  The significance was the fact that in the first year of operation of the PAYE system, the amount of tax collected was more than double that collected in the immediate preceding year.  The benefit to the employee was apparent – instead of having to put aside out of his pay sufficient money to pay the tax due, perhaps in a year’s time, or even longer, perhaps at a time when he may be unemployed – tax was now paid as the income was being earned.

2.      In 1954 the Income Tax Law was consolidated into one Act – Act 59 of 1954. The Income Tax (Amendment) Act provided that all income, profits and gains were to be taxed on the actual income of the year of assessment – that is, the year to 31st December.  The Act also brought into effect a system of taxation which is commonly known as “Self Assessment” and which was based on the concept of the taxpayer’s voluntary compliance with the Income Tax Law.  Under this system the taxpayer pays during the year of assessment, and by the 15thMarch in the following year, he makes a return of income accompanied by a statement of his actual tax liability showing the amount, if any, of the tax that remained unpaid.  Such tax remaining unpaid was deemed to be the subject of an assessment with the due and payable date being 15th March.  The taxpayer would therefore assess himself and pay his tax without the intervention of the Commissioner or a Collector of Taxes.

The Commissioner’s power of making assessments under the Law was necessarily retained and could be used if a taxpayer failed to make a return or if a return was incorrect and there was additional liability to tax.

The taxpayer could within thirty (30) days from the date of service of a notice of assessment, make objection thereto and the Commissioner gives his/her decision in relation thereto.  If the taxpayer was dissatisfied with the Commissioner’s decision he could appeal to an Income Tax Appeal Board. Appeal from the decision of this Board could further be made to a judge in chambers.

The 1st January, 1955 saw the abolition of the Assessment Committee (Income Tax Law 1954) and the transfer of all the powers and duties of the Committee to the Commissioner of Income Tax who had the responsibility for the administration of the law.

1960’s

Considerable changes were introduced in the late 1960s.  It was in during this period, in 1965, that incentive allowances were introduced for sugar manufacturing.  The year 1969 provided that the basis of assessment from 1st January 1968 should be for the actual income for the year.  It was also in 1969 that the system of self-assessment was introduced, which is still in existence.

1970’s

The collection of income tax remained the responsibility of the Collector General until 1971, when, the Commissioner of Income Tax was given like powers as the Collector General, and could now exercise those powers in relation to the collection of tax throughout the island.  The Income Tax Department was also formed.  A Revenue Court was established on February 1, 1972 (through Act 29 of 1971), strengthening the appeals process.

1980’s

The year 1985 saw further changes in the Revenue Administration of the country. Under the Revenue Administration Act of 1985 the Collector General’s Department became defunct and two new departments emerged, The Inland Revenue Department and The Customs and Excise Department.

1990’s

The 1990’s heralded significant changes in Tax Administration in Jamaica.

Introduction of GCT Department

In 1991 the consumption tax system was substantially reformed with the introduction of the General Consumption Tax (GCT) Act which saw the Excise portion of The Customs and Excise Department separated and used to form what was called the General Consumption Tax Department and the introduction of a General Consumption Tax.

Improving Resources and Organizational Structure of the Jamaican Tax Administration

For many years the Jamaican Tax Administration faced a number of very significant challenges which were seriously constraining its capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver quality services to taxpayers and meet its tax collection and control targets. The main issues were as follows:

(i)                 Departments administering the taxes were largely organized on the basis of specific taxes for which they carried out all the required administrative functions except collection. For example, there was an Income Tax Department, a GCT Department, and a Stamp Duty and Transfer Tax Department each of which carried out returns processing, auditing, assessment, compliance, and enforcement activities for a single taxpayer. As a result, many opportunities for economies of scale in such areas as general administration and property management were lost.

 

(ii)               There was no formal mechanism whereby information relating to individual taxpayers could be routinely shared between Tax Administration departments so that assessment, compliance and collection activities could be carried out on a uniform and consistent basis and in an efficient way. In fact, the Income Tax Act specifically precluded the sharing of income tax information collected by that Income Tax Department with anyone else.

 

(iii)  The legislative framework for tax administration had other serious weaknesses. In particular, tax commissioners were severely restricted in their powers to obtain information from third-party sources such as accountants, attorneys-at-law and financial institutions. Further, tax laws were rather complex in structure, largely because they tended to be developed in an uncoordinated, piece-meal way in response to urgent budgetary demands that arose from time to time.

(iv)  Because of limitations in available resources, several offices of the tax administration – particularly collecting offices in rural areas – were in a poor physical state. The uncomfortable working conditions demotivated staff and severely restricted the quality of service they provided to taxpayers.

 

(v)    The majority of tax administration staff was poorly paid, adding to the level of demotivation among them.

(vi)              Jamaica had a very significant underground economy, and compliance levels, particularly in direct taxes (taxes paid by the taxpayer to the various Collectors of Taxes e.g. Income Tax), were quite low. Taxpayers who were compliant often expressed resentment that an unreasonable burden fell on their shoulders precisely because so many were able to escape the tax net.

 

(vii)            The Tax Administration also received adverse criticism that tax revenues were carelessly and wastefully spent by government (though the Tax Administration did not participate in making expenditure decisions).

 

(viii)     Members of staff who were technically strong were often promoted to management positions, though they did not necessarily have an interest or competence in playing genuine management roles. Accordingly, management staff often immersed themselves in technical operational work, and in many areas managerial roles such as planning and controlling were almost ignored.

Tax Administration Reform Project (TaxARP)

In 1994, the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank signed a contract for the funding of a six-year project aimed at radically overhauling the tax administration. The contract for the development of this Tax Administration Reform Project (TaxARP) was awarded to an American firm of consultants, and was run from a project office with a full time Director and supporting technical and administrative staff. Decisions on policy issues deliberated on by the consultants were made by a steering committee which comprised the Project Director and all the Commissioners of the then existing tax administration departments.

The project concentrated on five major (overlapping) components as follows:

1.      Broadening the Tax Base

2.      Strengthening Organization and Management

3.      Improving the Control of Tax Evasion

4.      Improving Tax Collections

5.      Facilitating Voluntary Compliance

 

1.      Broadening the Tax Base.

The basic tool for this component of the project was a unique identifying number for each taxpayer called the Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) which was introduced in 1996. Any person having any interaction with a tax administration department was required to use this number, which would be the same number used by the taxpayer for all taxes. This would enable the administrators to easily make linkages with compliance status across the different tax types. Legislative changes were also made to increase the penalties for failure by liable persons to register for GCT, and to authorize the assessment of persons for the period of non-registration. The number of identified taxpayers has been increased by about 60% since the inception of the project.

Strengthening Organization and Management

Under this component of the project, a radical reorganization of the structure of tax administration was undertaken. The main principles being:

(i)                 Before the reform, Tax Commissioners reported directly and independently to the Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.  Since the Financial Secretary oversees many other programme areas of the Ministry, this span of control was extremely wide, and little focused leadership could be given to tax administration as a whole. Under the reform project, Tax Commissioners reported to a Director General of Tax Administration, whose management skills together with experience and expertise in taxation; enabled him/her to focus on the coordination of Tax Administration and coordination of tax administration matters.

(ii)               Tax departments no longer administered specific taxes; rather they were organized on the basis of the functions they carried out, and these functional responsibilities extended across all tax types.

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