Jamaica

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Overall Phase 2 Rating is Partially Compliant

Table of Determinations and Ratings of the Combined Review

Jurisdictions should ensure that ownership and identity information for all relevant entities and arrangements is available to their competent authorities. (ToR A.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Information is not required to be maintained by a company nor is it otherwise available to the competent authority that identifies the persons in an ownership chain where a legal owner in a public company acts on behalf of other person as a nominee or under similar arrangement.  Jamaica should establish a requirement that information is maintained indicating the person on whose behalf any legal owner holds his interest or shares in the public company or body corporate. 
There are insufficient mechanisms in place to ensure the availability of information identifying the owners of share warrants to bearer that may have been issued by a public company.  Jamaica should take necessary measures to ensure that robust mechanisms are in place to identify the owners of these share warrants to bearer.  
Companies incorporated outside of Jamaica but having their central management and control in Jamaica are not required to provide information identifying their owners as a part of registration requirements and foreign companies are not required to compulsorily keep a share register in Jamaica. Therefore, the information that identifies the owners of foreign companies is not available.  Jamaica is recommended to ensure that ownership and identity information on foreign companies with sufficient nexus in Jamaica is available in all cases. 
Beneficial ownership information is available to some extent in Jamaica through the concepts of “customer identification” and “evidence of identity” in the AML Regulations. However, in the case of companies and partnerships, these concepts cannot ensure that the bank will have to satisfy identifying the beneficial owner in accordance with the international standard. In addition, beneficial ownership information of companies, partnerships and trusts is only available for those entities or arrangements with a bank account or engaging in business with a regulated entity.  Jamaica should take appropriate measures to ensure that beneficial ownership information is available in line with the standard for all relevant entities and arrangements. 
During the 2009 – 2012 period of review, the penalties provided under the relevant tax laws and commercial laws appear to be insufficient in providing an effective deterrence against non-compliance. The enforcement actions undertaken by Jamaican authorities also do not appear to be adequate or effective in ensuring the compliance with the filing and reporting obligations under the relevant laws. The situation continues to be very similar, even though the penalties in the ITA were updated.   The Jamaican authorities should review its internal procedures for carrying out the enforcement actions to ensure the availability of identity information of all relevant entities and arrangements. 
Information identifying partners of a limited partnership, which does not carry on a business in Jamaica or liable to tax in Jamaica, is not consistently available with the Public Record Office in practice.  Jamaica should put in place proper mechanisms to ensure that information identifying partners of a limited partnership can be made fully available regardless of whether the limited partnership is carrying on a business in Jamaica or liable to tax in Jamaica. 
It is not clear whether the mechanisms that are in place to ensure that information identifying the settlor(s) and beneficiaries of a trust is available with the relevant authorities are effective in practice.  Jamaica should put in place proper and robust mechanisms to ensure that information identifying the settlor(s) and beneficiaries of a trust is fully available with either the relevant authorities or the trustee. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Non-Compliant.     
   
   
   
   
   
   
Jurisdictions should ensure that reliable accounting records are kept for all relevant entities and arrangements. (ToR A.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.   Jamaica has not addressed the recommendation from the 2013 Report to review the adequacy of the penalties under the relevant commercial laws to ensure that they are effective in providing deterrence against non-compliance. In addition, during the current review period the COJ did not supervise effectively the filing and reporting obligations under the Companies Act. The availability of accounting information was supervised by the TAJ through their regular audit program and filing of annual tax returns. Although the tax filing compliance rates are low, it appears that TAJ’s audit programme is comprehensive and ensures to a large extent the availability of accounting information for all relevant entities and arrangements subject to supervision by the TAJ.  Jamaica should put in place a comprehensive oversight programme to ensure that the filing and reporting obligations are complied with to ensure the availability of accounting information for all relevant entities and arrangements in all cases. 
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Largely Compliant.     
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   The concept of beneficial ownership information is not defined for CDD purposes. However, beneficial ownership information is available to some extent through the concepts of “customer identification” and “evidence of identity” in the AML regulations. These concepts cannot ensure that the bank will have to satisfy identifying the individual that exercises ultimate effective control before identifying the senior managing official.  Jamaica should take appropriate measures to ensure that beneficial ownership information is available in line with the standard for all account-holders.  
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Partially Compliant.     
Competent authorities should have the power to obtain and provide information that is the subject of a request under an exchange of information arrangement from any person within their territorial jurisdiction who is in possession or control of such information (irrespective of any legal obligation on such person to maintain the secrecy of the information). (ToR B.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The rights and safeguards (e.g. notification, appeal rights) that apply to persons in the requested jurisdiction should be compatible with effective exchange of information. (ToR B.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdictions' mechanisms for exchange of information should have adequate provisions to ensure the confidentiality of information received. (ToR C.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The exchange of information mechanisms should respect the rights and safeguards of taxpayers and third parties. (ToR C.4)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     
The jurisdiction should provide information under its network of agreements in a timely manner. (ToR C.5)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The assessment team is not in a position to evaluate whether this element is in place, as it involves issues of practice that are dealt with in the Phase 2 review.      
Phase 2 Rating Factors Recommendations
Compliant.     

Earlier self-assessment based annual reports entitled Tax Co-operation 2010: Towards a Level Playing Field are also available.