Tax offices to continue operations onsite despite work-from-home order
Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), says that all tax offices and the stamp duty and transfer tax office will continue to operate despite the new COVID-19 work-from-home order, which comes into effect today.
According to the TAJ, based on the critical services it offers that cannot be provided remotely, frontline staff, supervisors, and support teams will continue to provide face-to-face and onsite service to customers.
However, in keeping with the directive that persons who can carry out their functions from home or remotely, TAJ noted that several areas considered non-critical for face-to-face operations, such as the TAJ Customer Care Centre, will continue to operate remotely, as it has been since the start of the pandemic, and within the established work-from-home protocols.
In an effort to minimise the numbers of persons visiting the tax offices, customers are being urged to use alternate options that are available to conduct their tax related business, instead of visiting a tax office.
- The TAJ online tax platform at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm, which now offers a wider range of filing, payment and other services from anywhere, at any time.
- Allowing for filing and paying business related taxes and deductions, such as income tax, GCT, payroll payments and employers annual return.
- Querying and paying property tax.
- Payment of certificate of fitness fee, driver’s licence renewal and traffic ticket can also be done online.
- NCB customers may also now use their NCB Online Banking platform to add TAJ as a payee to pay property tax and business related taxes; then be able to generate and print their official receipt from the TAJ website.
- Customers may use the new direct funds transfer option, to make payments directly from their bank account into TAJ’s bank account for several business related taxes, and then be able to generate and print their own official receipt from the TAJ website.
- The TAJ mobile app can be used to query and pay property tax, pay certificate of fitness fee and pay traffic ticket.
- Mobile tax collection unit available by schedule to visit select communities. One of the two units is available at King Street on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., that allows for the payment of property tax, police record, traffic tickets and trade licences.
TAJ said that while it is aware that some customers will still need to visit a tax office to do certain transactions, the public is being advised of the following measures that are currently in place at TAJ locations:
- The number of persons allowed into an office at any one time is limited, to satisfy the physical distance requirement in the interest of health and safety of staff and customers.
- Mask requirement
- Temperature check necessary to enter premises
- 6-feet physical distance required (floor markers installed)
- Numbering system initiated at tax offices to manage the flow of the queue
- Priority service is given to senior citizens and the physically challenged
- Tents have been erected at locations that can accommodate same.
- Chairs are available at several locations, so customers may be seated while they wait
-Loud speakers/bullhorns available at several locations to guide customers
- The frequency of sanitisation of commonly used areas has been increased and is continuous throughout the day
The TAJ says changes have also been made to some procedures, such as driver’s licence renewal, as customers are now able to pay online line and then drop off the necessary documents for processing; then check the status online for when to return to pick up.
The agency has assured that security officers and customer service representatives constantly remind persons waiting in line to observe the physical distancing requirement
In anticipation of the additional demand on TAJ services at the peak of tax season, the TAJ says a decision has been taken to temporarily operate the St. Andrew, Montego Bay and Mandeville Revenue Services Centres, as well as the St. Ann’s Bay and Savanna-La-Mar Tax Offices on Saturdays, beginning March 13 through to April 24, 2021.
These will be in addition to the Portmore Tax Office, which resumed opening on Saturdays.
Customers are being asked to follow the instructions given at the locations.
Further, clients are asked to be mindful that TAJ will be operating with a reduced number of personnel, as rotation of staff will continue.
This as some team members will have to be permitted to accommodate their children’s stay at home due to the restriction of students allowed for face to face classes, as well as others who are required to quarantine by the Government or may be self-quarantined due to recent overseas travel or possible trace contact with affected persons.
TAJ says it will continue to monitor information from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and other official sources and will keep the public updated on any further developments.
For further information persons may contact the Tax Administration’s Customer Care Centre at 888-Tax-Help (888-829-4357) toll-free or visit the website at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm.
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