TAX Administration Jamaica (TAJ) has collected approximately $90 million from motorists holding outstanding traffic tickets since 2010.
The TAJ announced last weekend that with less than two weeks for the second amnesty to be introduced by the Ministry of National Security within financial year 2017/18, it had noticed an increase in the number of people visiting the tax office and logging into its website to pay the outstanding fines.
Seems like one of the developments which has been promoting increased interest among the lawbreakers has been a warning from Minister of Transport and Mining Mike Henry about increased penalties to be included in the new Road Traffic Act to be introduced in the first quarter of this year.
Henry has been signalling since the end of January that passage of the new Road Traffic Act will take place early this year.
Late last year the minister had promised that the Bill has been going through several changes and adjustments, and should be passed in the House of Representatives by the end of 2017.
“Right now, we’re completing the dotting of the ‘i’s and crossing of the ‘t’s. It contains minor things that we have to adjust, but I can confirm, from the ministry’s point of view, that we will be ready by the end of the year,” Henry said then.
However, with that deadline passed without the new Bill being tabled, he has assured the public since the start of the year that it will be tabled early this year.
He said that as soon as the House of Representatives resumes sitting after the Christmas/new year break, he would be pushing for the law to be passed.
On January 4, the TAJ reported that it had collected some $71 million in outstanding ticket payments. The TAJ said this was generated from the processing of 38,000 traffic tickets since November 27.
However, a news release issued on Tuesday, January 9, said that the collections had risen to approximately $86 million, with a resurgence of interest being shown by delinquent motorists since the start of the year.
In the release the TAJ said that it will be opening several of its tax offices this Saturday, coinciding with the last day of the current amnesty.
As a result, the following offices will operate between the hours of 10:00 am – 2:00 pm: • Santa Cruz • Kingston • Constant Spring • Montego Bay • Spanish Town • Port Maria • May Pen • Mandeville • Savanna-la-Mar and St Ann’s Bay.
The Portmore Tax Office will continue its regular Saturday opening time from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Customers will be able to utilise the Saturday opening hours to pay their traffic fines in line or online using the designated eTaxSpots at any of the listed locations.
Taxpayers are reminded that they must have either the ticket number or the traffic ticket itself to facilitate easy payment either at tax offices or online via the TAJ Portal at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm.
All usual, weekday services, including the renewal of driver’s licences, will be accessible as the tax authority continues to provide greater convenience to access its services.
Walk-in customers are being urged not to wait until the last day of the amnesty to visit tax offices and to avoid delays due to the expected increased customer traffic.
People seeking support to make queries about any outstanding tickets are directed to contact the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s call centre at 948-0411 Mondays to Thursdays (8:30am-5:00 pm) Friday (8:30am-4:00 pm).