Tax dodgers BEWARE!

August 9th, 2010

In recent months, it has become abundantly clear that many of the people who do not pay their taxes are prestigious and sometimes very popular members of society.  When the taxman does show up at their door, it is not usually for a small sum of money. Many of them owe millions in taxes.

According to an article in The Gleaner on Wednesday July 21, 2010 Agents from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) yesterday seized a posh Mercedes-Benz motor car valued at millions of dollars from dancehall star Elephant Man in a bid to collect taxes owed by the entertainer”.

Although the Director of communications for the IRD, Meris Haughton, did not officially release the delinquent’s name, it is quite obvious who the person was. She did state that the IRD was conducting “an operation to seize an asset of a taxpayer for outstanding taxes”.

The next day another article appeared in The Gleaner. This article stated that “Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Patrick Harris has been ordered by the Tax Court to pay $1.6 million immediately or be sent to prison for 30 days”.

It appears that this government official and Medical Doctor owes a substantial amount of money in unpaid taxes, and was served with a notice to appear in tax court. However, he did not show up and had no legal representation. He has since then made arrangements to begin paying monies owed.

There are also several organizations that do not pay taxes. A construction company in Mandeville not too long ago lost numerous vehicles and equipment to the IRD. They were told to pay over taxes owed in order to have their vehicles and machinery returned to them.

The tax department has obviously begun a massive drive against delinquent taxpayers. I cannot honestly say that I feel sorry for these people. I have to pay my taxes and so should they. What is your opinion? Do you think the action of the IRD is ethical? Will it scare others into paying their taxes? Have your say…

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14 Responses to “Tax dodgers BEWARE!”

  1. Alvin says:

    a huge percent of property taxes in Jamaica are unpaid…. Not collected. There are properties around Kingston worth 176 million JAD per acre. This figure is representing the high-end of the scale. Take a drive around Kingston and you will pass billions and billions of dollars sitting idle, in decay. Properties that taxes haven’t been pain in 15 years. Yet tenants can be found occupying the premises.
    If I don’t pay the yearly registration on my car and the police stops me, my car is taken away. If I don’t pay my income tax I may end up in jail, if I don’t pay my property tax in 20 years….. I get a “reminder” to pay……
    I hope the next time I get stopped by police I get a reminder to pay my registration.

  2. Jordache says:

    It is true that taxes are essential for country development and it is required by law for us to pay our taxes. This been said the law should not be a shakle therefore people should feel compelled to pay taxes because it is their civil duty and not because of fair of losing our assets. If you work for a company your taxes are deducted at source but if you own your own business or self employed like musicians or actors your taxes should be paid at the requisit time of the year. The problem is, while we as employees cannot avoid paying taxes people who work for themselves do not feel the need to because of the demands on them and their business. In regards to the assessment, the law states that the revenue department can levy any assessment on you(dollar figure)and u are require to pay. That means elephant man’s assessment maybe be significantly reduced if his accountant can prove that his income is not that much.
    Point of the matter is that people should pay their taxes. It should not be force on us. The amount of taxes is another debate but the less taxes we pay as a country to of a burden it become on others that are paying and can hardly afford it. i am so disappointed by the member of parliament, what happen to lead by example? You see these people have it to pay so why not.Why is it that u pressuring other to pay when u not doing it. Its down right unfair, unlawful and thief.

  3. George says:

    Good job, Jamaica!!! The country need the money from these well-off people so that everyone benefits from government services. The wealthy should bear an extra burden so that extremely poor people could get to use the decent roads, and be provided some assistance so that they could move up in life. My family came to America with just our Jamaican values and hope of a better life. With the help of the American tax payers, we made progress in our life and now we have fully paid for homes and decent money coming in. Government could be the great equalizer, President Bill Clinton did it for most of his time in office. I know I am a product of that era.

  4. Annie says:

    Hey my name is Andrea Jackson I have been living in the USA since 1985 I have been looking for my dad Vincent JAckson..I need help to locate my biogical dad

  5. jo bent says:

    Seize cars, homes,businesses. boats freeze accounts and subpoena tax cheats, the regular man on minimum wages pay.

    Sound-man, DJ, entertainers, politicians live
    large they are the first ones that should pay.

    Money is needed to fix roads, schools, hospitals, aid seniors, help the disabled,
    and line the politicians pockets …LOL


  6. Owen says:

    People should pay their taxes. Where I live, this member of Parliament (MP) Dr Patrick Harris, would either resign his seat under heavy pressure or most certainly be voted out, the former most definitely would happen before the latter. He is a very poor example of a leader.

  7. Sedoni says:

    I support the efforts of the tax authority 100%. They need to go even further. They should name them all. Everybody must pay. How anybody can feel sorry for these peolpe is beyond me. If these tax dodgers would pay what they owe, the Gov’t would probably be able to pay public sector workers better and maybe even lower the income tax rate.

    I say hit them where it hurts.

  8. goose says:

    That is the problem with the stupid Jamaican public, they are so gullible. They can’t tell the difference between an ordinary tax-collecting government and a an IMF-sponsored parasitic one! How can you (after just 3 years in power)adapt an IMF system of just holding up citizens, accuse them of owing 10 years or more in taxes, so they should either pay up or surrender their homes, cars, or business equipment. Yet big EU companies profiteering down here under so-called ‘development projects’ forced on the gov’t by the said IMF (and World Bank, and Paris Club) are given tax breaks and double-taxation treaty exemptions. Its like they want to put everybody (including employers) below the poverty line. And still they cut subsidy on tertiary education—- so what’s all this new tax collection for? — obviously not for Jamaican citizens and their children. Notice how when the court recently ruled in favor of the policemen to get their money from govt it was pointed out that this could negatively affect IMF negotiations. Of course, IMF money is NEVER for the people, hence the cut in tertiary education. Anyway, the same gullible public had bought into the ‘new IMF’ trick some months ago. Jamaica has proved Abraham Lincoln wrong— in Jamaica you can definitely fool all of the people all of the time!

  9. Uforatie says:

    Thank you Mr. Taxman. It’s about time!
    Too many people in Jamaica want to live free of their obligations to pay their share towards the running of the country. Their unwillingness to pay their share is one of the reasons the country is in the state it is in. And I have no doubt that they are some of the people who criticize the government when the government is unable to provide certain amenities and services.

    My advice Mr. Taxman: DO NOT EASE UP!. Jamaica needs this money. For too long these unreasonable people have avoided their responsibilities at the expense of the honest people who pay theirs and Jamaica as a whole.

    These people should realize that paying their taxes is one of the most noble, patriotic and civilized thing to do. And having paid their share, they will feel good about themselves, knowing that they are contributing to the development and welfare of their country.

  10. jo bent says:

    @ Andrea Jackson , not to go off the subject but try Jamaica genealogy on line, or post in the newspaper notice for where he was from and last known placed he lived,
    I know a Andrea Jackson too so make sure u find the right Mr Jackson.
    Don’t get scammed

  11. This is a good article. We’re always looking for valuable resources to send to my coworkers, and your piece is without a doubt worth sharing!

  12. BOB says:

    The System is slack and that’s why people can cheat the tax man so in Jamaica!.The Tax system and the postal service must go hand in hand. meaning all lots in Jamaica must have an address!. and when some one live there he have to have his documents or whatever registered to that address!.. if we had have a system like here where every one must have an address!.. this tax cheating would be minimal!..

  13. gentle says:

    It is very hard to convince the everyday joe that it is necessary to pay taxes. They all would like to enjoy the nice and beautiful things they see on TV. such as the roads, hospital, schools, nice government buildings, etc. However; the last thing they want to do is to pay a cent in taxes, and if you ask who should pay for these things they would say the government. That’s because most of them are ignorant to how the system works. Now when a person,or in some cases a group of people who should know, and can do better don’t pay, the tax man has the right to collect. I don’t like the thought of loosing anything in that manner.After all, we all worked hard for what we have, but we also know that taxes have to be paid. For the love of your material things, lie to the tax man, ask for time, pay something, and dont behave as if you run things. Just like how you know the tax bracket each of your employees fall in, you know your own, put a little away for the man. Last, if these people owe so much, they are making a whole lot of money. They are either greedy, or wasting it, doing unnessary things, so as to impress. Wake up rich people, there are people who are making a fraction of what you are making and still paying their taxes. Don’t get me wrong you have the right to enjoy what is yours, but remember the tax man.If the less fortunate are paying, why shouldn’t you?

  14. BOB says:

    My Resign will correct this!.. I have learned so much here and continue to learn that things in Jamaica can run properly and with out this type of nonsense!.. its because we have corruption from top to bottom!. so some rich people get a pass by just picking up the phone!..

    In my Dictatorial regime this will change!. every one will have no choice but to pay their taxes!..

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