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Minimum Business Tax Amendment

Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) is reminding companies and individuals in business that their first payment instalment of $30,000 for Minimum Business Tax (MBT) was due on Monday June 15, 2015. It should be noted that a Bill amending provisions relating to the MBT was signed into law on June 11, 2015, that now impacts who is required to pay.

In respect of individuals, the threshold has been increased to five million dollars ($5M), up from the previous three million dollars ($3M). This means that as of June 11, individuals, including partners, carrying out a trade, vocation or profession, or business, whose annual gross revenue is less than $5M are exempt from the MBT. Individuals are reminded that the MBT does not apply to income from salaries or wages. It should also be noted that the provisions for the $5M threshold does NOT apply to companies.

Provisions have also been made for any company incorporated under the Companies Act for not more than twenty-four months to be exempt from paying the Minimum Business Tax.

Amendments have also been made confirming that the MBT is applicable to Co-operative Societies, including Credit Unions. These entities are therefore advised that they are required to pay the MBT.

These and other amended provisions relate to June 11, 2015 and onwards. MBT legislative provisions and payments made prior to June 11 remain in effect for that period. This means payments made prior to the June 11 amendment will not be refunded.

The Minimum Business Tax, which was implemented in April 2014, requires persons operating a business to pay a Minimum Business Tax of $60,000 for the year in two installments on June 15 and September 15. It applies to all companies or other corporate bodies incorporated or registered in Jamaica, including overseas companies conducting business in Jamaica. Companies which are exempted from the payment of Income Tax or operating under an income tax incentive regime are also liable to pay MBT. In addition, companies making a loss, as well as companies that are dormant are also liable to pay the MBT

In addition to new companies, registered charities, international organizations subject to the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act and individuals with gross revenue below $5M are exempt from paying the Minimum Business Tax.

Taxpayers are reminded that their 2nd quarter estimated income tax was also to be paid by June 15. It should be noted that the MBT does not replace the obligation for paying estimated income tax and therefore both payments were due.

The Minimum Business Tax is credited towards income tax payable for the particular year of assessment and is to be claimed on the final income tax return.

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