An individual is subject to tax on one’s income for a calendar year; however, a taxpayer may obtain the approval of the Commissioner General, TAJ to file on a fiscal-year basis.
Income tax returns are due for filing on 15 March in the year following the year of assessment and are based on a system of self-assessment of the tax payable. However, an individual who expects that income tax will be payable by one’s self only in respect of emoluments is not required to file an income tax return.
Husbands and wives generally file separately and must elect in writing to be jointly assessed.
Payment of tax
Tax is payable in quarterly instalments on the 15th day of March, June, September, and December of each tax year. Quarterly instalments are based on an estimate of the year's liability or the actual tax payable for the previous year. The balance of income tax payable for a taxation year, after deduction of the instalments of estimated tax, is due on 15 March of the following year. Interest is charged on unpaid tax at a rate of 16.62% per annum while the amount remains unpaid. A penalty of up to 50% may also be imposed if TAJ issues an assessment.
Income tax (PAYE) is withheld from emoluments; however, where withholding is not possible (e.g. because the employer is not resident in Jamaica), the taxpayer will be required to make payment of estimated tax in quarterly instalments.
Tax assessments and audits
The Commissioner General is empowered to conduct audits on selected tax returns or to assess a taxpayer for additional tax at any time prior to the expiration of the statute of limitation, which is six years, except in certain cases. Tax audits can be carried out whether or not notices of assessment have been issued. Tax assessments may be raised where the Commissioner General is of the opinion that a taxpayer has been assessed for less tax than one ought to have been charged, or where the taxpayer failed to file a tax return.