Find Accountancy, Audit and Tax expertise in Jamaica
There are numerous accountancy and audit firms in Jamaica, many of which are based in Kingston and Montego Bay. Accountancy and audit firms include local member firms of all four major international networks, which tend to audit virtually all of the Stock Exchange-listed companies. The Public Accountancy Act of 1968 functions as key legislation in terms of providing a regulatory framework for the sector and the Companies Act 1965 requires the financial statements of all limited companies to be presented with the Registrar of Companies. The Act also requires the auditing of financial statements from all limited companies. The Public Accountancy Board was created by the Public Accountancy Act 1970 and issues practicing certificates to accountants. The Bank of Jamaica ensures financial statements are correct and proper and the Financial Services Commission. In February 2012 the ICAJ and the Jamaican Stock Exchange signed a Memorandum of Understanding to try and improve the quality of financial reporting. With regard to the adoption of international accounting standards Jamaica’s listed companies published their financial statements in accordance with IFRS from the beginning of 1 July 2002.
There are over 800 accountants in the country who are either members of professional bodies or the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ). To become a professional accountant most students complete the program of the UK-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the M.Sc. (accounting) at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. Accountancy professionals include members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica and other foreign bodies, such as: ACCA, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
There is no capital gains tax in the country, and the corporation tax rate is 33.3%. Property tax can rise to 3%, depending on the value of the property. The standard VAT rate is 17.5% with some items, for example basic foods, exempt. Jamaica is ranked 172nd in the world for paying taxes behind fellow Caribbean countries such as, Dominican Republic (94th), The Bahamas (56th) and St Lucia (52nd), according to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index (2011). Incentives for investment include special tax regimes for insurance, venture capital and international finance companies (Deloitte, 2012). The tax is year is the calendar year.