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The Exchange of Tax Information Portal is an initiative of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. The Global Forum conducts peer reviews of its member jurisdictions' ability to co-operate with other tax administrations in accordance with the internationally agreed standard. The standard provides for exchange of information on request where it is foreseeably relevant to the administration and enforcement of the domestic tax laws of the requesting jurisdiction. Effective exchange of information requires that jurisdictions ensure information is available, that it can be obtained by the tax authorities and that there are mechanisms in place allowing for the exchange of that information. The Global Forum's peer review process examines both the legal and regulatory aspects of exchange (Phase 1 reviews) and the exchange of information in practice (Phase 2). The EOI Portal will track the development of these peer reviews, including changes that jurisdictions make in response to the Global Forum's recommendations.

Peer Review: Phase 1 Peer Review - Jamaica

This report for Jamaica has been published on 17 Nov 2010. You can buy this report, or browse it online below.

Skip directly to the Executive Summary. You may also want to view the tables of determinations and ratings.


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Determinations and Recommendations

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 in place, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   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 of a 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 company or body corporate. This could, for example be achieved by way of requirements on companies and bodies corporate themselves, or alternatively via the information submitted to the Registrar of Companies. 
While share warrants to bearer areno longer issued in Jamaica, there are insufficient mechanisms in place that ensure the availability of information allowing for identification of the owners of previously issued share warrants to bearer.  Jamaica should take necessary measures to ensure that robust mechanisms are in place to identify the owners of 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.  As Jamaica asserts a sufficient nexus for taxing jurisdiction on a management and control basis, it should require submission of information on its owners when foreign companies register or when they apply for their tax file number and Jamaica should take necessary steps to require foreign companies to keep registers of Jamaican shareholders in Jamaica. 
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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   There is no clear requirement that relevant entities and arrangements keep underlying documentation.  Relevant legislation for each type of entity and arrangement should provide for the obligation to keep underlying documentation. Jamaica could, for example, ensure the maintaining of records and underlying documents by prescribing tax audits of persons having a turnover in excess a threshold amount. 
The Jamaican company and tax laws does not prescribe a compulsory retention period for records other than financial institutions and other entities regulated under anti-money laundering legislation.  The relevant laws should be amended to specify the retention period of at least five years in respect of accounting records for all the entities 
Banking information should be available for all account-holders. (ToR A.3)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.      
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 not in place.   The powers of Jamaica’s tax authorities to obtain information for exchange of information from the taxpayer or third parties are subject to there being a domestic tax interest.  The tax authorities should be granted the power to obtain information that is the subject of request under an exchange of information notwithstanding Jamaica might not need the information for its own tax purposes. 
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, but certain aspects of the legal implementation of the element need improvement.   Taxpayer’s rights are protected by the judicial procedures for gathering information. To require in all cases that the taxpayer be first approached, and thus notified, may unduly prevent or delay the effective exchange of information in urgent cases.  It is recommended that certain exceptions from prior notification be permitted (e.g. in cases in which the information request is of a very urgent nature or the notification is likely to undermine the chance of the success of the investigation conducted by the requesting jurisdiction). 
Exchange of information mechanisms should provide for effective exchange of information. (ToR C.1)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is not in place.   Only 1 of Jamaica’s 21 treaties and its 1 TIEA provide for effective exchange of information to the standard.  Jamaica consider removing domestic interest strengthening its international agreements to meet the international standard, including by incorporating text in its exchange of information articles corresponding to paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 26 of the Model Tax Convention. 
The jurisdictions' network of information exchange mechanisms should cover all relevant partners. (ToR C.2)
Determination Factors Recommendations
The element is in place.     It is recommended that the Jamaican government continue to conclude agreements with additional relevant partners. 
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.      
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.      
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.     Jamaica should act on the recommendations noted in respect of other essential elements to ensure that information requests can be responded to in a timely manner.