Jamaica

Overview

Last reviewed - 01 January 2020

Jamaica is the third largest island, and the largest English-speaking island, in the Caribbean. It is 4,243 square miles (10,993 square kilometres) in size and has a population of 2.8 million. Between the years 1494, the year in which Christopher Columbus claimed the island on behalf of the Spaniards, and 1655, Jamaica was colonised by Spain. It was thereafter subjected to over 300 years of British rule until it gained full independence in 1962. It is a vibrant and stable democracy with the two major political parties being the Peoples National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

The official language of Jamaica is English, and the currency is the Jamaican dollar (JMD).

Jamaica is divided into 14 parishes. Its capital is Kingston, located on the south coast of the island. Other major cities and towns include Montego Bay, Spanish Town, Port Antonio, Ocho Rios, Mandeville, and Negril. Although small in size, Jamaica boasts a rich and unique culture, and many Jamaicans (e.g. Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Marcus Garvey, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Usain Bolt) have made an indelible impact in the fields of music, politics, religion, and sports worldwide.

The principal drivers of the Jamaican economy are tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, energy, business process outsourcing, and bauxite/alumina. The country also relies heavily on remittances from citizens living and employed overseas.

The last decade has seen significant improvements in the country's infrastructure, including several tolled highways and by-passes, which have enhanced road access within the island. Its two major airports, Norman Manley International in Kingston and Sangster International in Montego Bay, have seen significant modernisation and improvements.

The principal seaports are Kingston and Montego Bay. There are also extensive cruise shipping facilities in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Falmouth, and Port Antonio. The Port of Kingston is located on the world's seventh largest natural harbour, at the centre of the north-south and east-west axes through the Caribbean, approximately 32 miles from the trade routes passing through the Panama Canal.

Jamaica's telecommunication system has also grown significantly in the last decade and is now one of the most sophisticated in the Caribbean. Jamaica's advanced telecom infrastructure utilises a hybrid of fixed-line and wireless technologies, including 3G and 4G broadband networks.

PwC is Jamaica's leading professional services firm, focused on providing audit, tax, assurance, and related business advisory services. PwC Jamaica, whose origins began in 1916, now employs 258 professionals in two offices located in Kingston and Montego Bay. We advise more companies listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange than any other professional services firm in Jamaica and are the only firm in the English-speaking Caribbean that has been certified by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. We also provide services to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registrant companies, international conglomerates, and statutory bodies, as well as individuals. Our client base includes firms engaged in banking, insurance, manufacturing, retail and distribution, tourism, telecommunications, mining, and agriculture.

Quick rates and dates

Corporate income tax (CIT) rates
Headline CIT rate (%) Regulated company: 33⅓;
Building society: 30;
Unregulated company: 25
Corporate income tax (CIT) due dates
CIT return due date 15 March, following the year of assessment.
CIT final payment due date 15 March, following the year of assessment.
CIT estimated payment due dates Quarterly instalments due 15 March, June, September, and December in the year of assessment.
Personal income tax (PIT) rates
Headline PIT rate (%) 30
Personal income tax (PIT) due dates
PIT return due date 15 March, annually.
PIT final payment due date 15 March, annually.
PIT estimated payment due dates Quarterly instalments on the 15th day of March, June, September, and December of each tax year.
Value-added tax (VAT) rates
Standard VAT rate (%) General consumption tax: 16.5
Withholding tax (WHT) rates
WHT rates (%) (Div/Int/Roy) Resident: 15 / 25 / 0;
Non-resident: 33⅓ / 33⅓ / 33⅓ where paid to a company, and 25 / 25 / 25 where paid to an individual.
Capital gains tax (CGT) rates
Corporate capital gains tax rate (%) NA
Individual capital gains tax rate (%) NA
Net wealth/worth tax rates
Headline net wealth/worth tax rate (%) NA
Inheritance and gift tax rates
Inheritance tax rate (%) There is no inheritance tax. However, there is a 1.5% transfer tax on death.
Gift tax rate (%) NA

NA stands for Not Applicable (i.e. the territory does not have the indicated tax or requirement)

NP stands for Not Provided (i.e. the information is not currently provided in this chart)

All information in this chart is up to date as of the 'Last reviewed' date on the corresponding territory Overview page. This chart has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this chart without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this chart, and, to the extent permitted by law, PwC does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this chart or for any decision based on it.

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