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Dictionary of Terms
You may select each link below for terminology on taxes, customs and motor vehicle.
General Tax
Income Tax
Education Tax
Property Tax
Motor Vehicle Tax
Explanation of Dictionary of Tax Terms - Full List
General Tax Terms
Age Relief: allowance given to individuals who reach a certain age, commonly sixty-five year old. The allowance generally reduces the taxable sum and therefore the tax to be paid is lower.

Allowances: deductions or exemptions generally made in computing income taxes. Allowances are often fixed amounts which may be deducted from taxable amounts of income. They may, however, vary with certain items of personal or business expenditure, example mortgage interest or capital allowance.

Appeal: formal statement of disagreement with a tax assessment or a court decision, notified to the appropriate authority and initiating a formal process of reconsideration.

Assessment: term which applies to the Act of computing the tax due as well as to the document or record in which the details of the calculation and tax are noted. Assessment is sometimes related to estimation of tax made in the absence of a return or declaration by a taxpayer.

Asset Tax: tax levied on an individual or enterprises gross or net assets. The tax is imposed at a flat rate.

Audit: examination and verification carried out by the tax authorities of  taxpayers’ books and accounts and or the general accuracy of returns and declarations either as a routine operation or where evasion is suspected.

Balancing Allowance and Charge: adjustments made on the sale of assets which have been the subject of capital allowance for tax purposes. When the assets are sold, destroyed or scrapped the sum received from the sale, insurance policy or scrap proceeds is compared to the depreciated or written-down value and any deficit or shortfall below  that value is allowed as a deduction to the taxpayer while any sum in access of that value is subject to tax.

Benefits in kind: term which refers to earnings usually from employment, other than in cash as part of compensation for services rendered. The value of benefits in kind received from an employer must usually be included in the employee’s taxable income.

Best Judgement Assessment: the tax authorities are authorised to make an assessment according to the best of their judgement in certain cases.

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Capital allowance: allowances granted in recognition of the depreciation in value of capital assess over their useful life.

Company: is any body corporate or any entity which is treated as a body corporate for tax purposes.

Corporation Tax: income tax on corporate profits which is at a rate of thirty three and one third (331/3 %) percent.

Customs Duties: taxes on goods imported onto a country.

Double Taxation: juridical double taxation arises where there is an imposition of comparable taxes by two tax jurisdictions on the same taxpayer in respect of the same taxable income or capital.

Estimated Assessment: for income tax purposes where the records kept, particularly by small traders, are inadequate for a precise calculation of tax due, it may be necessary for the taxable income or profits to be calculated by the tax authorities on the basis of an estimate.

Estimated Tax: income taxes which are paid on a periodic basis by a taxpayer whose income is not subject to a withholding tax. The amount remitted to the tax authorities represents an ‘estimation’ of total tax liability for the particular taxable period.

Exemptions: tax laws frequently provide specific exemption for persons, items or transactions which would otherwise be taxed.

Individual income tax: term applied to income tax on the income of individuals.

Income Tax threshold: level of income at which income tax commences to be levied. A taxpayer with income below threshold level would be exempt from income tax.

Input tax: tax embodied in purchases made and expenses incurred by a trader or entrepreneur who will usually be able to obtain a credit for the tax that his suppliers have paid on the goods supplied to him which form his 'inputs'.
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Output tax: term used to denote tax payable on the sales of goods or services by those who are subject to the tax and in contrast to the ‘input tax’ for which a credit will be available.

Person: includes an individual, an estate, a trust, a company, a partnership, and any other body of persons.

Refund: tax repaid to a taxpayer.

Statute of limitations: a statute limiting the period within which a specific legal action may be taken such as the collection of tax, appeal from a decision of the tax authorities or lower court. The statute of limitations is six years.

Tax Avoidance: term used to describe the legal arrangement of a taxpayer's affairs so as to reduce his tax liability.

Tax Evasion: is the reduction of tax by illegal means.

Taxpayer Registration Number: is an identification number which must be used when filing a tax return and assessing taxes for all other correspondence between the taxpayer and the tax authorities.

Tax Treaty: colloquial term to denote an agreement between two countries for the avoidance of double taxation.
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Income Tax
Approved Association: is any association which is an approved association under the Agricultural Marketing Act, and any other association declared by the Minister to be an approved association.

Approved Farmer: is a person designated as such by the Minister pursuant to subsection (1) of section 36D of the Income Tax Act.

Approved fund: is a fund constituted in a manner approved by the Minister for purposes so approved, and declared by the Minister to be an approved fund. Provided that no sum in respect of which no income tax is payable by reason of its being part of an approved fund, shall be used for any purposes other than purposes approved by the Minister.

Approved Retirement Scheme: is a retirement scheme approved by the Commissioner under the Income Tax Act.

Approved Superannuation Fund: is a superannuation fund approved under the Income Tax Act.

Approved Venture Capital Company: is a company designated as such by the Minister pursuant to subsection (1) of section 36A of the Income Tax Act.

Body corporate subject to income tax: means any body corporate, wherever resident, other than one whose entire income is by section 12 or any other enactment exempted or relieved income tax.

Chargeable Income: is the aggregate amount of income of any person from all sources remaining after allowing the appropriate deductions and exemptions under the Income Tax Act.

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Earned Income: means in relation to an individual:

(I) any income arising in respect of any remuneration from any office or employment of profit held by the individual, or in respect of any pension, superannuation or other allowance, deferred pay or compensation for loss of office, given in respect of the past services of the individual or of the husband or parent of the individual in any office or employment of profit, or given to the individual in respect of past services of any deceased person, whether the individual or husband or parent of the individual shall have contributed to such pension, superannuation allowance or deferred pay or not.

(II) any income from any property which is attached to or forms part of the emoluments of any office or employment of profit held by the individual.

(III) any income which is immediately derived by the individual from the carrying on or exercise by him of his trade, business, profession or vocation, either as an individual or in the case of a partnership as a partner personally acting therein, however, where the income of a wife is deemed to be the income of the husband, any reference in this definition to the individual includes either the husband or the wife.

Emoluments: includes, in relation to any office or employment of profit-

(a) all salaries, fees, wages, all provision or payment, as the case may be, in respect of living or other accommodation, entertainment, utilities, domestic or other services and other benefits, perquisites and facilities whatsoever (whether in money or otherwise).

(b) all sums paid to any person by an employer in respect of expenses whether reimbursable or not.

(c) all annuities, pensions, superannuation or other allowances payable in respect of past services in any office or employment of profit, whether legally due or voluntary, and including lump sums paid in commutation or in lieu of a pension or other periodical superannuation payment, and any payment of money made, or other valuable consideration given, to any person being the holder or past holder of any office or employment of profit in consideration for, or otherwise in connection with, the termination of the holding of that office or employment (otherwise than by death) or any change in its nature or terms, or any undertaking given by that person as to his future conduct, whether the payment is made to that person or to his relative or dependant (in which case it shall be treated as made to that person, unless he is dead, when it shall be treated as made to the recipient.

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Principal Member: means a person who, in relation to a body corporate, is beneficially entitled to exercise more than five per centum of the voting power or is beneficially entitled to shares the paid-up value of which amounts to at least five per centum of the paid­up share capital, or is, together with other persons connected with him, beneficially entitled to exercise more than ten per centum of the voting power or beneficially entitled to shares the paid­up value of which amounts to at least ten per centum of the paid­up share capital.

Qualified Unit Trust Scheme: is a scheme which, throughout the year of assessment (or, where the scheme is registered under the Unit Trusts Act during the year of assessment, throughout the part thereof subsequent to that registration) is a registered unit trust scheme (within the meaning of that Act) in which there are not less than two hundred unit holders, treating as one unit holder persons who form a group of two or more, each of whom is connected with the other member or members of the group.

Statutory Income: is the aggregate amount of income of any person from all sources remaining after allowing the appropriate deductions and exemptions under the Income Tax Act.

Trading and estate income: refers to so much of the income of a body corporate (computed in accordance with the rules governing the calculation of chargeable income) as is referable to the carrying on of a trade, business or profession or the ownership or occupation of land, and in calculating trading and estate income payments deductible under section 13 shall be apportioned between that and any investment income of the body corporate as may be appropriate;

Year of Assessment: is the period of twelve months commencing on the first day of January in each year.
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Education Tax
Earnings: in relation to any person in any income tax year, the statutory income computed pursuant to the Income Tax Act as being the statutory income of that person for that year modified to such extent as may be prescribed by regulations, and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such regulations may have the effect of increasing or decreasing the amount which shall be taken into account as earnings.

Emoluments: means any emoluments assessable to income tax pursuant to paragraph (c) of section 5 of the Income Tax Act (other than annuities, pensions, superannuation or other allowances payable in respect of past services in any office or employment of profit and such other categories of emoluments as may be prescribed) being emoluments from which income tax is deductible pursuant to the Income Tax (Employments) Regulations, whether or not tax in fact falls to be deducted therefrom.

Employed Person: is a person over the age of eighteen and under retirement age gainfully occupied in employment specified in the First Schedule and earning not less than the minimum wage as prescribed under the Minimum Wage Act;

Employer: is any person who has in his employment a person who is required to pay education tax pursuant to the Education Tax Act;

Retirement Age: is the age of sixty­five years.

Self-employed Person: is a person gainfully occupied in Jamaica who, in relation to that occupation, is not an employed person.

Taxpayer: is any employed person, self­employed person or domestic worker and any employer who is required to pay tax pursuant to the Education Tax Act.

Tax Week – refers to the period of seven days commencing immediately after twelve o'clock midnight on each Sunday and ending at twelve o'clock midnight on the Sunday next following.

Tax Year – refers to the period of fifty­two or fifty­three weeks beginning with the first Monday of January in any calendar year and ending on the Sunday immediately before the first Monday of the succeeding calendar year but in relation to the year 1983 it means the period beginning with the first Monday of July, 1983 and ending on the Sunday immediately before the first Monday in January, 1984.
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Drawback: is a refund of all or part of any duty of customs or excise authorised by law in respect of goods exported or used in any particular manner.

Duty: includes any tax or surtax imposed by the customs or excise laws.

Entered: means in relation to goods imported, warehoused, put on board an aircraft or ship as stores or exported means the acceptance and signature by the proper officer of an entry, specification, or shipping bill, and declaration signed by the importer or exporter on the prescribed form in the prescribed manner, together with the payment to the proper officer by the importer or exporter of all rents and charges due to the Government in respect of the goods, and, in the case of dutiable goods (except on the entry for warehousing of imported goods), the payment by the importer or exporter to the proper officer of the full duties due thereon, or else, where permitted, the deposit of a sum of money or giving of security for the duties, as provided by law, or, in the case of goods for which security by bond is required on the exportation, putting on board an aircraft or ship as stores or removal of such goods, the giving of such security.

Import: means to bring or cause to be brought within the Island or the waters.

Offence against the customs laws: includes any act of any person contrary to the customs laws or any failure of any person to perform an act required by the customs laws to be performed by him.

Port: means a port appointed by the Minister pursuant to subsection (2) of the Customs Act.

Private Warehouse: a private warehouse appointed by the Minister pursuant to subsection (2) of the Customs Act.

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Queen's Warehouse: is any warehouse or place whatsoever for the time being occupied or used by the Commissioner for the deposit of goods for security of the duty due thereon.

Uncustomed Goods: includes goods liable to duty on which the full duties due have not been paid, and any goods, whether liable to duty or not, which are imported or exported or in any way dealt with contrary to the customs laws.

Warehoused: means deposited in a Queen's or private warehouse.

Waters of the Island: means any waters within a space contained within an imaginary line drawn parallel to the shores or outer reefs of the Island which appear above the surface at low­water mark at ordinary spring tides and distant twelve miles. Provided that where the outer limit of any part of the territorial sea of the Island does not run parallel as aforesaid at such distance, the said line shall follow and coincide with that limit.
Property Tax
Property: is any property shown on the Valuation Roll made and settled, or from time to time duly altered and amended under the authority of any enactment relating to valuation and the Valuation Roll.

Person in possession of property: means the owner, occupier, mortgagee in possession or other person in actual possession of such property.

Value of property: is the gross value of any property as shown on the Valuation Roll.

In any case in which new properties are added to the Valuation Roll by means of the Collector's assessment or counter­assessment after the first day of April in any year, such assessment or counter­assessment shall be deemed to be also an assessment for the purposes of the Tax Collection Act:

Provided that the minimum value of any property, for the purposes of this Act, shall be in the case of property consisting of land only, or of a house without land, or with land not exceeding a quarter of an acre in extent, forty dollars:

Provided also, that where one and the same person is in possession of more than one lot of property in the same parish each of which consists of land without house, such separate properties, up to and not exceeding forty dollars gross value, may be taken together and reckoned as one property.

Unimproved value of property: refers to the unimproved value of land within the meaning of the Land Valuation Act.

Motor Vehicle
Driver: where a separate person acts as steersman of a motor vehicle, includes that person as well as any other person engaged in the driving of the vehicle, and the expression "drive" shall be construed accordingly.

Local Authority: in relation to the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, and, in relation to any other parish, the Parish Council for that parish.

Motor vehicle: is any mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads.

Road Authority: in relation to any road means the authority (being the Chief Technical Director or the Council of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation or a Superintendent of Parochial Roads and Works or any other person declared to be a Road Authority pursuant to the provisions of subsection (2)) responsible for the maintenance of the road.
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