Jamaica to Tax Bank Withdrawals

amaica’s government is planning a new measure that would impose a levy on withdrawals from banks.

Part of a revenue-raising scheme for a government that continues to be in a serious debt situation, the levy “will be chargeable on all withdrawals from deposit-taking institutions by way of electronic banking, point of sale transactions, cheques, automated banking machine (ABM), automated teller machine (ATM), or over the counter and internet transfers,” according to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.

For transactions less than around $9,128 US dollars, the levy rate is 0.1 percent, or about $9.10 USD.

For smaller withdrawals like J$1000 or about $10 USD, the levy is about 10 cents.

The tax is higher on larger deposits, at .09 percent between J$1 million and J$5 million, and 0.75 percent between J$5 million and J$20 million, with a .05 percent rate above J$20 million.

Under the measure, the stamp duty on cheque transactions will be removed.

The measure has led to significant controversy in Jamaica.

Jamaica’s Shadow Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, accused the government of joining a “raid” on customers.

“He is giving company now to the commercial banks, joining in the raid on the pocketbooks of people who decide to go and use electronic banking or at points of sale, and cheques,” Shaw said.

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