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Tax Exemption and Relief
Certain individuals and organizations are exempt from the various tax types. The following is a list of the tax types and those who qualify for exemption.
Exemption
Income Tax Act
Transfer Tax Act
Contractors Levy
General Consumption Tax (Goods)
General Consumption Tax (Services)
Special Consumption Tax
Property Tax
HEART Fund Contribution
NIS Fund Contribution
Motor Vehicle Licence
Education Tax

Relief
Property Tax
Explanation of Tax Exemption & Relief - Full List
Income Tax Act
The following exceptions covered under Income Tax Act:
  1. Emoluments paid to the Governor-General and an Acting Governor General under any provisions of the Governor General Act.
  2. Income of any Government institution or Department.
  3. Income of any corporation or association organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific or educational purposes.
  4. Income of an approved fund.
  5. Income from a scholarship, exhibition, bursary or any other similar educational endowment held by a person receiving full time instruction at a University, college, school or other educational establishment.
  6. Material allowance to persons employed as teachers in any educational institution.
  7. Income accruing to a body corporate resident in the island in its capacity of trustee under a qualified unit trust scheme.
  8. Interest paid by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to any person under the Income Tax Act.
  9. An individual certified as disabled by the Minister of Social Security on the advice of a Chief Medical Officer.
  10. An individual who has attained age sixty five (65) is exempt from tax on $45,000.00 of income from any source.
  11. An individual who is age fifty-five and over and in receipt of a pension from a statutory pension scheme or a superannuation scheme approved by the Commissioner is exempt from $45,000.00 of income from pension and any other source.
  12. An individual below age fifty-five and in receipt of a pension from an approved Superannuation or statutory pension scheme is exempt on $45,000.00 of the pension income.
Transfer Tax Act
The following exceptions covered under Transfer Tax Act:
  1. Any transfer by the Government of Jamaica, Parish Council or the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation of property belonging to the transfero.r
  2. Transfers of securities in the course of business on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.
  3. Transfers by way of gift to an approved institution organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes.
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Contractors Levy
The following exceptions covered under Contractors Levy:
  1. A Ministry or Department of Government
  2. A Statutory body or Authority
  3. A registered company in which the Government or any agency of the Government holds not less than fifty one percent of the ordinary shares.
  4. Parish Council
  5. Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation
  6. Being in the business of construction, transactions involving the construction of buildings for own use.
  7. Being in the business of tillage operations, transactions involved in the tilling of land for own use.
General Consumption Tax (Goods)
The following exceptions covered under General Consumption Tax (Goods):
  1. Travel tickets for international travel
  2. Raw foodstuff as follows:  (a) fresh fruit and vegetables, excluding imported apples, pears, quinces, apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, sloes, berries, grapes and kiwis; (b) ground provision; (c) legumes;  (d) onions and garlic; (e) meat; (f) poultry; (g) fish, crustacean or mullosc, which contain no additive and which is not subject to any process other than - (i) freezing, chilling, salting or packaging, (ii) slicing, mincing, grinding, dicing or chopping; or (iii) natural drying. (This does not include the juicing of fruits.)
  3.  Milk (including condensed and powdered skimmed) but excluding flavoured milk, milk­based products and milk substitutes.
  4. Cornmeal and cereal flour which is known as counter flour and which is made from cereal containing thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and iron but no other additives.
  5. Corn.
  6. Soyameal.
  7. Wheat.
  8. Corned beef.
  9. Pickled mackerel, herring, shad and dried salted fish.
  10. Canned sardines, herrings and mackerel.
  11. Infant formulae.
  12. Bread, buns, bullas, biscuits and crackers. Please note that “crackers" means small dry bakery products made only of bleached flour and water, with or without leavening or shortening and salted, the total weight of which contains not more than ten per cent of sugar and without flavouring, coating or topping and verified to be such by the Bureau of Standards.
  13. Rice.
  14. Sugar (brown)
  15. Salt
  16. Eggs
  17. Patties that is to say beef or vegetable pies of the description popularly known by that name in Jamaica.
  18. Rolled oats.
  19. Baking flour packaged in quantities of not less than 45.359 kilograms.
  20. Any live bird, fish, crustacean, mollusc or any other animal of a kind generally used as or yielding or producing food for human consumption and draught animals.
  21. Unprocessed agricultural produce, including produce from stock farming, fresh water fish farming, forestry cultivation and horticulture supplied directly at the farm gate.
  22. Motor spirit, which before being sold is coloured to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, and lubricating oil which are sold to fishermen for use in commercial fishing and which are so certified by the Director, Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture: Provided that with respect to motor spirit the extent of the exemption granted under this Item shall apply only in respect of fifty per cent of the tax payable.
  23. Cooking oil.
  24. Syrup as specified under Tariff Heading No. 21.06 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff (Revision) Resolution, 1972.
  25. School uniforms and school bags.
  26. Sanitary towels and tampons specified under Tariff Heading No. 4818.401 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff (Revision) Resolution, 1972.
  27. Food produced exclusively for the feeding programme of a school approved by the Minister of Education which is not for resale to the general public.
  28. Solar water heaters specified under Tariff Heading No. 8419.191 and 8419.192 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff (Revision) Resolution, 1972.
  29. Photosensitive semiconductor devices, including photovoltaic cells whether or not assembled in modules or made up into panels specified under Tariff Heading No. 8541.40 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Revision) Resolution, 1972.
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General Consumption Tax (Services)
The following exceptions covered under General Consumption Tax (Services):
  1. Includes the following operations of:
    1. the construction, alteration, repair, extension, demolition or dismantling of any building or structure, including offshore installations, that is to say, installation which are maintained or are intended to be established for underwater exploitation;
    2. the construction, alteration, repair, extension or demolition of any works forming or intended to form, part of the land, including (without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing) walls, roads works, powerlines, telegraphic-lines, aircraft runways, docks and harbours, railways, inland waterways, pipelines, reservoirs, water-mains, wells, irrigation works, sewers, industrial plant and installation for purposes of land drainage, coast protection or defence;
    3. which form an integral part of, or are preparatory to, or are for rendering complete, such operations as are described in paragraphs (a) to (d), including site clearance, earth moving, excavation, tunneling or boring laying of foundations, erections of scaffolding, site restoration, land-scaping and the provision of roadways and other access works.
  2. Transportation of people within Jamaica.
  3. The rental of residential property for residential purposes.
  4. Public postal and telegraph services.
  5. Services rendered by a charitable corporation or charitable association.
  6. Medical, dental, nursing, optical and veterinary services and services provided pursuant to the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act.
  7. The provision of Education or training in an educational institution approved by the Minister of Education.
  8. Services rendered under a contract of health insurance. (History - inserted June 2004 – taxable @ 15% September 2003 to June 3, 2004. Exempt prior to September 2003.)
  9. Services rendered under a contract of life assurance.
  10. Services performed under a contract the payment for which is by a foreign government or a multilateral lending agency.
  11. Services rendered by Legal Aid Clinics and under the Poor Prisoners’ Defence Act.
  12. Services rendered by a corporation as defined in the Registration (Strata Titles) Act in pursuance of the powers and duties specified in that Act.
  13. The supply of water (excluding bottled water) to the public.
  14. The supply of electricity to or for the public.
  15. The supply of sewerage disposal services.
  16. The following financial services: (a) the exchange of money; (b) the payment or collection of a cheque; (c) the issue of a letter of credit, traveler’s cheque, bank cheque, postal note, cash card, credit card or money order; (d) the issue, allotment, drawing, acceptance, endorsement, transfer of ownership, or payment of a debt security; (e) the issue, allotment, or transfer of ownership of an equity security or a participatory security; (f) underwriting or sub­underwriting the issue of an equity security, debt security, or participatory security;  (g) the provision of credit under a credit contract; (h) the assignment of any hire­purchase agreement;  (i) the provision of a guarantee, indemnity, security, or bond in respect of the performance of obligations under a cheque, credit contract, equity security, debt security, or participatory security, or in respect of the activities specified in paragraphs (b) to (h); (j) the provision or transfer of ownership, of a life assurance contract or the provision of re­insurance in respect of any such contract; (k) the provision or transfer of ownership of an interest in a superannuation scheme; (l) the provision or assignment of a futures contract through a futures exchange; (m) the payment of dividends and interest;  (2) In paragraph (1) ­  "equity security" means an interest in or right to share in the capital of a body corporate; "participatory security" means an interest or right to participate in any capital assets, earnings, or other property of any person, including an interest in a unit trust but not in an equity security.
  17. Services rendered by the Jamaican Branch of the Red Cross Society.
  18. Services rendered by the St. John's Ambulance Brigade.
  19. Services rendered by the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides Association of Jamaica and any other youth organization or association approved by the Minister.
  20. Services (excluding catering services) rendered at a port or international airport in Jamaica in connection with the importation or exportation of goods or the transportation of people into or out of Jamaica.
  21. The rearing of animals or the growing of crops under a contract for reward.
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Special Consumption Tax
Exemption and relief are given upon application for waiver.
 
Property Tax Exemption
The Minister of Finance is empowered to grant exemptions to any purpose or organization, if he is satisfied that either the purpose or organization is of a social, religious, cultural or educational nature.
Property Tax Relief
The Government has put in place mechanisms by which persons may seek relief from Property Tax where special circumstances apply. There are three types of relief, namely Statutory Relief, Agricultural De-rating and Special Discretionary Relief.
  1. Statutory Relief: This is granted in cases where the valuation, based on the potential use of the land, is higher than the current use.  For example; many persons own property and live in an area, which was originally classified as residential, but has now become commercial.  In such a case, the valuation will reflect the potential of the highest and best use of the land for offices or shops.
  2. Agricultural De-rating:  This is granted for a period of up to three years for land used primarily for agriculture. These applications should be sent to the Land Taxation Relief Board.
  3. Special Discretionary Relief:  This is granted by Ministry of Finance in cases of hardship.  For example; pensioners and other persons with fixed income as well as the aged and persons with disabilities.  Theses applications should be sent to the Parish Review Committee through the local authorities.  The Committee will make recommendations to the Ministry of   Finance and is applicable for one year only.
HEART Fund Contribution
An employer who proves to the satisfaction of the Collector of Taxes that his gross monthly payments of emoluments to employees during the period of twelve months did not exceed fourteen thousand four hundred and forty–four dollars ($14,444.00).

Ministries and Departments of Government

Parish Councils

The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation

Subject to the list of Statutory Bodies and Government Companies appearing in the 4 th Schedule to the HEART Act, Statutory Bodies, Authorities or Companies in which Government or any Agency thereof, holds not less than 51% of the Ordinary shares.
NIS Contribution
Females over 60 years while unemployed and males over 65 while unemployed are exempt, however females over 65 years and males over 70 years although employed are exempted. All persons under the age of 18 years of age.
Motor Vehicle Licence

Exemptions of payment are granted to the Diplomatic core for fees. Ambulances registered and approved by the Ministry of Health are exempted from registration fees. Fire engines and other fire fighting vehicles used by the Jamaica Fire Brigade are exempted from the registration fees.

Education Tax
The following employers shall, subject to subsection (3), not be liable to pay employer’s tax under the Act;
  1. A Ministry or department of Government
  2. A statutory body or authority
  3. A company registered under the Companies Act, being a company in which the ‘Government holds not less than fifty-one per centum of the ordinary share (hereafter in the section as a prescribed company);
  4. Any Parish Council
  5. The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation;
  6. The University of the West Indies.
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