Utilising Technology to Improve Compliance: The Jamaica Experience

Hank Williams


Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) successfully completed the implementation of the three phases of its Revenue Administration Information System (RAiS) project in December 2016. The implementation of the RAiS resulted in the modernisation and re-engineering of processes and operations in order to positively influence taxpayers’ behaviour and voluntary compliance levels. Central to this was the attention focussed on the creation of an effective tax system built upon the principles of simplicity, transparency, maintenance of revenue adequacy, and the broadening of the tax base.

Such guiding principles enabled the tax authority to take advantage of changes to key pieces of legislation, policies, business rules, and standard operating practices. Particular emphasis was also placed on strengthening human resource capacities in order to make optimal use of the RAiS’s features. TAJ also engaged with key stakeholders throughout the implementation process.

The RAiS has not only impacted customer service delivery, but has also greatly improved compliance in respect of registration, filing, payment, and accurate reporting. The analytical models used in the RAiS have underpinned the development and design of targeted strategies to achieve increased compliance in those areas. Hence, the tax authority is now in a better position to aggressively pursue tax avoiders and evaders through intelligence and enforcement actions.

It is obvious that the tax authority has made significant strides when it comes to providing cutting-edge systems to improve voluntary compliance and public confidence in tax administration. Finally, the author trusts that the lessons emerging from TAJ’s practical experience will prove to be valuable for other countries’ tax administration systems in the future.

Keywords: Revenue Administration Information System, Voluntary Compliance, Tax Administration.

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